Worst in Sports History Football Part 1

About the worsts in the sport of football including worst high school and college teams and defeats.



Worst College Team (all-time): For sustained ineptitude, it's difficult, if not impossible, to underrate the Beavers of the California Institute of Technology. From 1893, when Caltech lost its first game 60--4 (a sign of things to come) through 1977, the Beavers won 107 games, lost 322, and tied 16. And they were worse than their record indicated, because in recent years many of their games have been against the junior varsity teams of other colleges. While Caltech ranks among the top schools in the nation for excellence in science and technology, it has never offered football scholarships. About the closest coach Tom Gutman has come to recruiting, according to a Wall Street Journal story, was "lurking in the bushes" around the school while students played intramural touch football. The Caltech players were said to be the only ones in the nation whose IQs (above 140 on the average) approached their weights. The team's highlights were few. In 1967 Caltech defeated California State University at San Diego, 34--31, a humiliation that caused San Diego to give up football. Small player turnouts hurt Caltech. Coach Gutman recalled one "fabulous" first-half performance which ended with Caltech leading Pomona College, 28--27. "But since our guys had to play both offense and defense, as usual, we were physically worn down in the second half," he added. Final score: Pomona 74, Caltech 28. The turnout for 1977 was so small, in fact, that the school dropped football from its program indefinitely. Missing, too, will be the Beavers' inspiring cheer:

Secant, cosine, tangent, sine

Logarithm, logarithm,

Hyperbolic sine

3 point 1 4 1 5 9

Slipstick, sliderule


Nor will the school's first-down cheer be heard.

Punt, punt, punt,

Punt, punt, punt,


Worst College Team (runner-up): St. Paul's Poly (Va.), 1947-1953. St. Paul's lost 41 games in a row during this period, including a sequence in which they were outscored 890-0.

Worst High School Team (one season): Bethel High of Brandt, O., was shut out all 10 games in 1974. The 420-student school lost by scores of 40-0, 53-0, 92-0, 89-0, 50-0, 56-0, 36-0, 33-0, 46-0, and 49-0. The 89-0 game was called after 3 min. of the third quarter as a merciful gesture. The 56-0 game was closer than it could have been, because Beloit's opponent began attempting field goals on first down. Bethel almost scored in one game, marching to its opponent's 1-yd. line. However, four attempts from that spot failed. The coach's name: Dennis Reck.

Worst Football Defeat: With an open date on Oct. 7, 1916, powerful Georgia Tech invited little Cumberland College to play on Tech's field. Cumberland had no official team, anyway, and of those "players" who were rounded up for the game, several missed the train at a stopover in Nashville. Cumberland fullback A. L. Macdonald later recalled making "our longest gain of the day when I lost 5 yd. around right end." One Cumberland player is said to have fumbled the ball and yelled at a teammate to pick it up. "You pick it up," the teammate said. "You dropped it." The game was called midway in the third quarter. Georgia Tech quarterback Leo Schlick had scored 100 points himself by then. Final score: Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0. Cumberland did not demand a rematch.

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