Portland State, an FCS team, just beat North Texas, an FBS team. Normally, this in itself is a headline, a surprise, an upset. FCS teams aren't allowed to recruit as many players as FBS teams, and they typically recruit worse players than FBS teams. They're supposed to lose!
But the Vikings did not merely beat the Mean Green. They absolutely eviscerated them, 66-7, a new record for the biggest FCS win over an FBS team. It should've been 66-0, but UNT's backups scored a touchdown with a minute left.
The loss was so bad, North Texas immediately fired head coach Dan McCarney:
Dan McCarney has been relieved of his duties as UNT's head coach, Rick VillarreL confirms after loss to Portland State— Brett Vito (@brettvito) October 11, 2015
Here's what you need to know about the record-setting win:
- The previous record belonged to a 58-0 beatdown by Lehigh over Penn in 1981, but Penn (and the rest of the Ivy League) left the FBS for the FCS in 1982.
- The largest win by an FCS team over a current FBS team was incidentally by North Texas in 1983, when UNT beat New Mexico State 49-3. The Mean Green didn't join the top tier until 1995.
- The largest win by a current FCS team over a current FBS team was a 41-3 win by Southern Illinois over NMSU, also in 1983. That Aggies team must have been bad.
- If you'd prefer to deal in more recent times: The largest FCS-over-FBS win since 2000 was McNeese State demolishing South Florida 53-21 in 2013.
- It's hard to argue North Texas is not the worst team in the FBS this year, so McCarney probably deserved to lose his job. They're not the last winless team -- they're joined by Kansas, Central Florida, Wyoming and New Mexico State (who is really getting a lot of play in this post) -- but all those teams have managed to at least lose a close game to somebody. Among them, only Wyoming has lost every game by double-digits, and its biggest loss was by 19. North Texas is losing by scores of points to an FCS team. It's baffling to think that this team convincingly won a bowl game just two seasons ago.
- Think you're bad with money? North Texas paid Portland State $425,000 for yesterday's game, according to the Denton Record Chronicle. UNT probably would've been better off taking a payday from another FBS team to lose on the road instead of shelling out cash for the right to get blown out at home.
- It's not like this happened because of a slew of fluky plays or unlucky bounces. North Texas only turned the ball over once. The Vikings just whooped the Mean Green off the field play after play, outgaining them 670-198. I'm not queuing up a record or anything here, I just wanna point out that an FCS team ran up nearly 700 yards on an FBS team and forced it to punt (or turn over on downs) 13 times.
- Portland State is now amazingly 2-0 against FBS competition this year, having beaten Washington State in September. (That was by a much more reasonable 24-17 margin.) The last team to do this was North Dakota State in 2007, and, well, North Dakota State is pretty good.
- Portland State beat Washington State ... and Washington State beat Oregon Saturday night ... so Portland State is the best team in Oregon now.
- It should be noted that technically, this was not an upset. Portland State was a three- to four-point favorite. PSU winning by 59 was, well, an upset.
- This would've been the first shutout by an FCS team over an FBS team since 2006, when Richmond beat Duke 13-0. That garbage time touchdown ruined this tidbit.
- Alex Kuresa threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns, David Jones ran for 134 and two touchdowns, and the only reason they didn't have better stats is because the guys from the little league had to pull their starters to avoid embarrassing the big boys.
- And last but not least, let's take some time to celebrate the Vikings. Last year, this team went 3-9, finished 10th in the Big Sky Conference, and fired its coach, Nigel Burton. Now they're 4-1, with a win over a power conference opponent and a blowout victory over an FBS team. I have no clue what new coach Bruce Barnum has done; the turnaround from "bad FCS team" to "obliterating FBS teams by 60" seems like it would involve sorcery or steroids. Kudos to Portland State, who should make the FCS playoffs.