With the playoffs kicking off next week, we thought we would take a look back at some of the biggest blowouts in College football playoff history. Since the new college football playoff (CFP) structure came into force, we have been treated to some dramatic one-sided drubbings, and throughout this article you will hear references to some of college football’s biggest stars.

From Trever Lawrence’s incredible hammering of Nick Saban’s Alabama as a freshman, to the largest margin of victory in a college football national championship last year, the college game knows how to serve up the drama. Let’s look back through some of the most shocking moments in NCAA football playoff history.

What is the biggest blowout in College football history?

The biggest blowout in College football history just so happens to be last year’s National Championship game, when Stetson Bennett’s Georgia Bulldog’s humiliated Max Duggen’s TCU Horned Frogs. The 58-point margin makes it by far the biggest blowout in CFP history, and a game that TCU will want to forget quickly.

What is the biggest spread in College football Championship history?

The biggest spread in CFP history favored Alabama by 19 points over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This was a considerable increase over the previous biggest spread, which also saw Alabama as the favorites, this time over Oklahoma. Alabama proved that they were worthy favorites by defeating the Fighting Irish, but Notre Dame kept it closer than expected. The 31-14 scorecard meant that Alabama did not deliver on the biggest spread in playoff history.

The 10 Biggest Blowouts in College Football Playoffs History

  1. No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks (2014-2015)

2015 CFP National Championship Game
Final Score: Ohio State 42 | Oregon 20
Margin: 22 Points
Date: Jan. 12, 2015

This was an especially significant game given that it was the first inaugural championship game under the new College Football Playoff system. The number 4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, led by third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, took on the number 2 ranked Oregon Ducks, led by Marcus Mariota.

This game was an impressive reflection of Ohio State’s incredible squad depth and resilience, as they battled their way to the Championship game despite the loss of their Heisman Trophy-contending starting quarterback, JT Barrett. As a result, Cardale Jones had to make his first career start in the Big Ten Championship game, which resulted in him winning MVP of the game. The Buckeyes were in good hands.

Jones, making just his third career start, threw for 242 yards and a touchdown, but the star of the show was running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns on an incredible 36 carries, proving too good for Oregon’s vaunted defense.

Oregon benefited from having that year’s Heisman Trophy winner piloting their offense, but they struggled to live up to their high standards against Ohio State’s strong defensive unit. Mariota passed for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Ducks fell foul to a couple of critical turnovers. This included a key fumble in the first quarter that shifted the momentum in the Buckeye’s favor.

Ohio State put together a well-balanced performance that overwhelmed the Oregon Ducks to the tune of a 22-point margin, securing their place as National Champions.

  1. No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (2021-2022)

2022 Orange Bowl
Final Score: Georgia 34 | Michigan 11
Margin: 23 Points
Date: Dec. 31, 2021

The 2022 Orange Bowl pitched the 3rd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs against the 2nd-ranked Michigan Wolverines, with a spot in the National Championship game on the line. Georgia completely outwitted the Wolverines, with their ferocious defense stifling the Michigan offense, which had earned a reputation for being one of the most intimidating in the country.

The dominant defensive display was perfectly paired up with a clinical display from Stetson Bennett and the Georgia offense. Bennett threw for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns, with running back Kenny McIntosh also throwing for a touchdown to add insult to injury. The touchdowns went to four different Georgia players, reflecting a beautifully rounded offensive performance from the Bulldogs.

Michigan entered the game with high expectations but struggled to find their rhythm against Georgia’s relentless defensive unit. It was the offense that propelled the Wolverines to the semi-final, but they were unable to leave their mark on the game. They only managed one score in the first half, which allowed Georgia to control the game.

Georgia were deserved winners, and would go on to secure the National Championship by defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide.

  1. No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 2 Clemson Tigers (2018)

2018 Cotton Bowl
Final Score: Notre Dame 3 | Clemson 30
Margin: 27 Points
Date: Dec. 29, 2018

The 2018 Cotton Bowl saw the Trevor Lawrence-led Clemson Tigers battle the Ian Book-led Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It was a one-sided affair, with Lawrence’s 327 yards and 3 touchdowns greatly eclipsing Books’ 160 yards and an interception. The 27-point margin decisively propelled the Tigers to the National Championship game.

The Tigers’ defense was a particularly imposing unit during the 2018 season, and they had their way with the Fighting Irish. Limiting Notre Dame to just a single field goal was eye-opening by Clemson and embarrassing for the Irish.

Trevor Lawrence had made a real name for himself that year, passing for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns as a freshman, with only 4 interceptions. His good form continued in this game, highlighting Lawrence as a star playing well beyond his years. He was a name to watch for sure. The main beneficiary of Lawrence’s incredible play in this game was Justyn Ross, who amassed 148 yards and 2 touchdowns, which featured some spectacular catches.

Clemson carried momentum from this game to hammer Alabama 44-16 in the National Championship game, wrapping up an incredible season for Trevor Lawrence. Judging by the score in that game, we may hear more about that later…

  1. No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (2020-2021)

2021 CFP National Championship
Final Score: Ohio State 24 | Alabama 52
Margin: 28 Points
Date: Jan. 11, 2021

Alabama have been a dominant force in the college game for as long as most people can remember, so them coming into this game atop the College football playoff rankings came as no surprise. However, this performance was certainly one of their more impressive. Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide had a lot of knowledge on their sidelines. The result in this particular game was spectacular.

Quarterback Mac Jones threw for 464 yards and 5 touchdowns, with Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith all but putting the game to bed in the first half. His 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns gave Alabama a 35 - 17 halftime lead. Good luck coming back from that!

Ohio State had enjoyed a brilliant year defensively, but they had no answers for Mac Jones and his Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver. The partnership was supported nicely by Najee Harris, who carried 22 times for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Justin Fields was majestic in the Buckeyes' semifinal win over Clemson, but the Crimson Tide’s defense made life very difficult for him. What was a point of strength for Ohio State in the regular season could not find any room to work in the Championship game.

This win was particularly significant for Alabama. It was their 18th title and the 7th won by Nick Saban, helping him pass Bear Bryant for most wins by a coach in college football history.

  1. No. 2 Clemson Tigers vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (2018-2019)

2019 CFP National Championship Game
Final Score: Clemson 44 | Alabama 16
Margin: 28 Points
Date: Jan. 7, 2019

Another appearance for Alabama in a National Championship game, but this time, they would come out on the wrong side of a hammering. They entered the game as the number-one ranked side but left humiliated by the number-two ranked Clemson Tigers.

What’s more incredible about the game, is that it was a freshman quarterback doing the damage. Trevor Lawrence announced himself as a true star, passing for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Crimson Tide’s vaunted defense. He showed composure beyond his years, linking up with Justyn Ross for 153 yards and a touchdown. The duo was also devastating in the semifinal against Notre Dame.

With Tua Tagovailoa leading the way, Alabama got off to a good start, but Clemson’s defense eventually managed to overpower them. They stifled any hopes of a comeback and produced 2 interceptions on Tua.

This was Clemson’s second national championship in three years, solidifying their status as a true powerhouse under Dabo Swinney.

  1. No. 3 Clemson Tigers vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (2016)

2016 Fiesta Bowl
Final Score: Clemson 31 | Ohio State 0
Margin: 31 Points
Date: Dec. 31, 2016

It is a rare sight to see an Ohio State team shut out, but that is exactly what Clemson managed in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. The result is especially surprising when you consider that the Buckeyes entered the game with a higher ranking. This game was the first time that Urban Meyer’s Ohio State team had ever been shut out during his tenure.

They fell to a brilliant all-round performance from Clemson, led by Deshaun Watson. Watson showed off his dual-threat capabilities by passing for 259 yards and a touchdown, whilst also rushing for 57 yards and two more scores. His ability to attack Ohio State in more ways than one kept the defense guessing and proved too much for them.

However, it was Clemson’s defense that was the most impressive. Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett was unable to muster up any kind of momentum, completing 19 of his 33 passes for no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Curtis Samuel was the only player who contributed to the team’s offensive efforts, catching 9 balls for 43 yards and rushing six times for 67 yards. It was an embarrassing performance for Ohio State, who deservedly watched the Championship game from home.

They watched the Tigers participate in a thrilling national championship game against Alabama. Deshaun Watson and his team emerged victorious, narrowly defeating the Crimson Tide by 35-31.

  1. No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 1 LSU Tigers (2019)

2019 Peach Bowl
Final Score: Oklahoma 28 | LSU 63
Margin: 35 Points
Date: Dec. 28, 2019

The number-one ranked LSU Tigers had earned a reputation for their offensive prowess, led by future number-one overall pick Joe Burrow. The Oklahoma Sooners were no match for them, falling to a 35-point deficit that sent the Tigers to the National Championship Game.

Burrow, who was that year’s Heisman Trophy winner, was in a league of his own. He set records with a 493-yard, 7-touchdown performance, also adding a score on the ground. Astonishingly, all 7 passing touchdowns came in the first half, which tells you all you need to know about this game.

Justin Jefferson, another future NFL star, caught 4 of those touchdown passes, finishing up with a tidy 227 yards as well. Thaddeus Moss and Terrace Marshall Jr. also passed 80 yards each, with Chris Curry chipping in at running back with 90 yards at 5.6 yards per carry. It was a truly remarkable offensive display that completely overwhelmed the Sooners.

Oklahoma never really stood a chance, and they struggled against the LSU defense. They did at least manage to score a touchdown in every quarter, led by Jalen Hurts at quarterback, but it didn’t little to make up for the 63 points scored by LSU.

LSU marched onto the National Championship game, where they faced Clemson. In a battle of the Tigers, Burrow emerged victorious to solidify his status as a true superstar.

  1. No. 3 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (2015)

2015 Cotton Bowl
Final Score: Michigan State 0 | Alabama 38
Margin: 38 Points
Date: Dec. 31, 2015

It doesn’t get much more dominant than this. The Michigan State Spartans are not a name that features heavily in college postseason history, but they went down in infamy for this performance against Alabama. Alabama were renowned for being a well-rounded force during this season, and it showed as they racked up 38 points and didn’t let their opponents get close.

The Crimson Tide defense swarmed over the Michigan State offense. It was so dominant that no Spartans running back got more than 14 yards, and no receiver went past 39. The talented Crimson Tide secondary also managed to pinch two interceptions to add a cherry on top of a dominant display.

On offense, it was an efficient performance from Jake Coker, who completed 25 of his 30 pass attempts for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns. Calvin Ridley caught both of the touchdowns, adding to a box score that saw him get 138 receiving yards. Derrick Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner that year, carried the ball 20 times for 75 yards and 2 scores of his own.

Following this emphatic victory, the Crimson Tide went on to face the Clemson Tigers in the National Championship game, where they emerged victorious. This gave them their fourth title under head coach Nick Saban.

  1. No. 3 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks (2014-2015)

2015 Rose Bowl
Final Score: Florida State 20 | Oregon 59
Margin: 39 Points
Date: Jan. 1, 2015

The number two-ranked Oregon Ducks delivered a resounding defeat to the number three-ranked Florida State Seminoles in the 2015 Rose Bowl. The Ducks' offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, were too much for Florida State. Mariota threw for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns, also adding another score as a rusher. The Ducks' high-tempo offense overwhelmed the Seminoles' defense, resulting in a daunting 59 points.

Florida State were the defending champions at the time, led by quarterback Jameis Winston. They managed to keep up with the Ducks’ fast-paced offense in the first half, but a series of turnovers in the third quarter flipped the game on its head. The Ducks scored 27 points in the third to put the game to bed.

Darren Carrington was the standout performer, catching 7 balls for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Ducks running game also proved too much for Florida State. Thomas Tyner accounted for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, with Mariota also rushing for 62 yards and a score.

The Ducks went on to participate in a highly-anticipated National Championship game against Ohio State but were beaten easily to the tune of 42-20.

  1. 3 TCU Horned Frogs vs. No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (2022-2023)

2023 CFP National Championship
Final Score: TCU 7 | Georgia 65
Margin: 58 Points
Date: Jan. 9, 2023

Our most lopsided National Championship game just so happens to be the most recent National Championship game to take place. The number 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs were in a different league to the number three ranked TCU Horned Frogs. They dispatched them by a margin of 58 points, producing the biggest point differential in college football championship history. Not only is it the biggest points differential we have seen, but it is 18 points bigger than our second-place game.

Georgia’s dominance was comprehensive, executing plays with near perfection on offense, and proving impenetrable on defense. The Bulldogs’ quarterback, Stetson Bennett had an exceptional game, passing for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Brock Bowers did most of the damage, taking 7 receptions for 152 yards and a score. Ladd McConkey also had a good game, with 88 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Both of those players could be taken highly in the 2023 NFL draft.

TCU, under head coach Sonny Dykes, entered the game as underdogs, but no one saw this score coming. They were completely swept aside by Georgia’s relentlessness and quality. TCU’s quarterback Max Duggan had been pivotal leading up to the Championship game, but he rarely found himself with a clean pocket to operate out of. This incredible game is the most dominant performance in college playoff history, solidifying Georgia as a true powerhouse.

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