The NCAA preaches sportsmanship and quality competition, but that doesn’t mean that it shows up on the field 100 percent of the time.  College football brawls can and do happen.

Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of carnage every now and again, spicing things up?  Well, just as long as no one is seriously hurt, of course.

College football has seen its share of unleashed fury over the years – some in the form of quick outbreaks and others… nasty, violent brawls.

So, which were the nastiest?

Well, the forthcoming “dirty dozen” may not all be the worst of all-time, but they are the most recent to be caught on video (and displayed via You Tube).

Without further ado… here they are in no particular order – though the worst are saved for last:


College Football Brawls: The 12 Nastiest of All Time

Notre Dame and Miami (1988)

The game – a 31-30 victory by Notre Dame – was considered one of the best games in the 1980’s.  Also referred to as “The Catholics vs. The Convicts”, the teams started up quite the frenzy before opening kickoff, igniting a pre-game fight in the tunnel.

Notre Dame and USC (1971)

The result of this game was a 28-14 upset victory by unranked USC over the Irish, who headed into the game ranked 6th in the country.

However, this game wound up being more famous for the approximately 20-minute delay due to an on-the-field brawl.

Miami and South Carolina (1987)

This brawl started on a routine pass play where the pass protection broke down, South Carolina’s quarterback scrambled back, and instead of being sacked – he was slung to the turf like a rag dolll.

The result of that play was some pushing and shoving, a few bodies flailing for the ball and the next thing you know, the benches had cleared.

LeGarrette Blount (Oregon) vs. Byron Hout (Boise State) – 2009

OK, so this wasn’t much of a brawl – but it was last season and fresh in everyone’s mind.

Blount – who talked a lot of trash pre-game – couldn’t hold up his end of the bargain as Boise State manhandled the Ducks.

In the end, Hout couldn’t resist opening his mouth during the post-game, and the result was Blount delivering a cheap shot and losing his cool later – eventually leading to a team suspension.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State (1997)

Don’t let the soft-boiled Egg Bowl name fool you – these two teams hate each other, especially during the 1997 game, which started out as a pre-game brawl and ended with a 15-14 victory by Ole Miss.

It isn’t the highest quality video, but you get the idea – that a few shells were definitely cracked during this rivalry grudge match.

UCLA and USC (2009)

Rick Neuheisel and Pete Carroll brought fire back to this rivalry, especially in last year’s match – when a late-game timeout by UCLA turned into a long bomb for a TD by USC.

After all was said it done, the teams were on the field ready to fight – and while this didn’t turn into much of anything, it certainly could have.

Western and Eastern Arizona (2009)

Sure, they’re smaller schools – but judging by the video, “you throw out the records when these two face each other”.

It appeared to be a routine scrum until a few cheap shots by each team resulted in a much more aggressive dog pile of players that seemed to migrate across the field toward the end zone.

Note: Video no longer available

Maritime and Kings Point College (2007)

Here’s yet another scrum between smaller schools, though it’s almost “Oregon Blount-like” in nature – except when the one player landed the punch, his opponent was borderline laid out.

I mean, that guy didn’t have a chance – he fell like a load of bricks.  If that kid didn’t make it in football, then he should’ve also considered boxing for a second career.  Here’s the video:

Note: Video no longer available

Georgia and Georgia Tech (2008 and then some)

This video features more of a montage instead of a single melee, which just goes to show that the hatred runs pretty deep in this in-state rivalry between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets.

If you don’t buy it, then take a look for yourself.

Houston and Hawaii (2003)

Hawaii also had a major brawl with Cincinnati during the 2002 season.  Yes, it’s safe to say the Warriors were a feisty bunch during these years.  Not exactly what one would expect from a place where so many travel to for laid-back vacations.

The 2003 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl wasn’t just a wild one for the brawl that occurred once the game was over, but also for the game itself – a 54-48 win by Hawaii.

Clemson and South Carolina (2004)

Lou Holtz – South Carolina’s coach at the time – did the best he could to keep this brawl from happening.  There was just too much boiling over from one of the sport’s biggest rivalries.

The incident happened with less than six minutes to go in the game.  It has often been referred to as one of the worst moments in the rivalry’s history.

In fact, each of the schools reacted to the incident as such.  Both administrations removed postseason berths, while also suspending six players apiece.

Florida International and Miami (2006)

This was arguably one of the worst brawls in college football history.  There were kicks to the head with cleats and players using helmets as weapons.  Certainly, a number of charges and suspensions were added after the dust settled – 31 to be exact.

FIU also dismissed a few players from the team entirely.

The video shows just how bad it was.  Quite honestly, this was the most fight each of these teams showed during that particular season.  It’s just a shame that it had to be in this negative of a manner.

Which brawl is the nastiest that you have ever seen? 

Share in the comments below!

* Also posted to my Bleacher Report page

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