That was a close game ... for about 10 minutes. We’re not even 24 hours removed from Georgia’s second straight National Championship and it’s almost impossible to believe just how much they embarrassed TCU.
The 65-7 win wasn’t just the biggest in the history of the National Championship, but the biggest margin of victory in bowl game history — eclipsing the 56 point win in the 2018 Armed Forced Bowl when Army beat Houston 70-14. The wildest part is that TCU earned their place. They weren’t a bad team, and Monday night was testament to just how good the 15-0 Bulldogs were in 2022.
Giving TCU some modest props for a great season won’t change the fact that they were dog walked into the history books by losing by 58 points. The whole affair got me thinking: Was this the biggest blowout in the history of finals games? After diving through the history books, I think it is.
Super Bowl XXIV
San Francisco 49ers 55
Denver Broncos 10
The Super Bowl played in 1990 remains the biggest blowout in the history of NFL championship games. It was an affair so embarassing that both quarterbacks were pulled for different reasons.
Joe Montana dominated so thoroughly that he got to rest after throwing five touchdowns so Steve Young could come in and close out the fourth quarter, while John Elway was so ineffective after throwing 26 times for 103 yards and two interceptions that Gary Kubiak... yes, GARY KUBIAK came in and sucked too.
The Niners were 13 point favorites entering the game and blew the doors off it. Montana went on to deservingly win MVP, but Jerry Rice was utterly unstoppable too — catching seven passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
Verdict: As embarassing as this blowout was ... UGA vs. TCU was worse
1990 Men’s College Basketball National Championship
Nobody, and I mean nobody, was doing anything against The 1989-90 Runnin’ Rebels. Jerry Tarkanian’s team was unlike anything college basketball had seen before as it married unbelievable athleticism with ruthless efficiency — and it all came together to absolutely decimate Mike Krzyzewski and Duke.
The important thing to remember is that THIS WAS NOT A BAD DUKE TEAM! They had Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Phil Henderson and Alaa Abdelnaby — four future NBA Draft picks. Still there wasn’t a damn thing they could do against Greg Anthony, Stacy Augmon, Anderson Hunt and Larry Johnson — who ran Duke off the court and became the first (and only) team to score 100 points in the men’s college basketball championship game.
Sure, LJ had 22 points and 11 boards — but the astounding thing about UNLV’s win is how they didn’t show a single weakness. They shot 61 percent from the field, 57 percent from behind the arc, they recorded 16 steals and simply ran the Devils’ legs off.
Verdict: Losing by 30 in this fashion is bad ... but UGA vs. TCU was worse
1998 NBA Finals, Game 3
Chicago Bulls 96
Utah Jazz 54
The most astonishing thing about the 38 point blowout in Game 3 of the 1998 NBA Finals is that if you were to just look at this score you’d assume Michael Jordan went off for 50 and took over the game by himself — but he really didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, Jordan had a great game where he scored 24 points, but this was the most complete team effort the Jordan-era Bulls put together, particularly on the defense end. Scoring was more or less distributed between Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc, but the amazing element to this game is how overwhelmed the Jazz were by Chicago’s defense.
This was a Utah team predicated on a simple concept: Get the ball inside to Karl Malone, and when the defense over-commits there would be John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek to knock down shots from the perimeter. Instead Stockton got mugged so often he didn’t even attempt a three, Hornacek just shot one — Malone ate on the inside, but also turned the ball over seven times to a swarming Bulls interior defense. Nothing got going for the Jazz and Phil Jackson created a Bermuda Triangle they got lost in.
Verdict: This was a hugely lopsided win ... but UGA vs. TCU was worse
2013 Women’s College Basketball Championship
Nobody, and I mean nobody was beating UConn in 2013. The Huskies were in the middle of their astounding six championship run, and Geno Auriemma kept finding ways to load his team with the most incredible talent in the world.
The 2013 season was big because it marked the arrival of Breanna Stewart, one of the most anticipated recruits in the history of women’s basketball. Stewie had made a name for herself in high school, but really turned heads at the Pan American Games, where she competed as a high schooler alongside established college stars like Diana Taurasi, and held her own.
In the National Championship Game she dominated from the tip-off, scoring 18 points in the first half before settling into a defensive role. Alongside Stefanie Dolson the interior of UConn was impossible to get past, and their play on the perimeter was marked with lethal three point shooting where the team shot 50 percent from beyond the arc. Poor Louisville never stood a chance and this game was functionally over by halftime, where UConn held a 48-29 lead — and it didn’t get any better.
Verdict: UConn dominated, but it was expected ... making UGA vs. TCU worse
Are there any others?
You could probably stretch to say the 1970 World Cup Final where Brazil beat Italy 4-1, or the 2008 Rugby League Grand Final which ended 40-0 — but it’s functionally impossible to find a game that had more eyes on it, and resulted in a more lopsided win than what we saw from UGA and TCU on Monday night.
We truly did witness the biggest blowout in the history of championship games, in any sport, courtesy of UGA beating TCU 65-7. What a time to be alive.