9. 1950: Mississippi State beats Tennessee 7-0
In terms of disparity between teams, this one could be much higher. Tennessee football would go 11-1 this year and capture a share of the national championship. Meanwhile, the Mississippi State Maroons (now Bulldogs) would fall to 4-5 on the year.
The difference in record an skill is insane. But there are two things to drop it down to here. For one thing, it was on the road, which isn’t as bad as home losses no matter what. And for another, it didn’t play a huge factor in the outcome of the season.
The Vols technically didn’t capture a share of the SEC title since the Kentucky Wildcats played one more game than them, but they did beat Kentucky, so both just had one conference loss. Meanwhile, after the Oklahoma Sooners lost their bowl game, Robert Neyland’s team was able to claim a piece of the national championship. So the loss was irrelevant.
However, don’t let all that excuse this loss. The Vols were a significantly better team loaded with talent, even then, and one of the greatest coaches of all time. So there was no reason for them to lose this game 7-0.
On top of that, it did cost them an outright SEC Championship and a chance at a consensus national championship. So there were still some bad things that came from this upset loss, even if the Vols got a title that year. This should have been another undefeated season to go in the record books for the Vols.