Skip to main content

The 8 Craziest College Football Brawls Of The 21st Century

It may be late December, but it's clear that not everyone seems to be in the holiday spirit - at least judging by the way yesterday's Memphis vs. BYU Miami Beach Bowl ended. The brawl between the two teams, which came after an amazing game that was decided in double-overtime, was definitely one of the worst we've seen this century. 

That being said, it wasn't quite the craziest we've seen in the time frame. We've gone through and taken a look at some of the more notable brawls in the last 14 years. Where did yesterday's melee wind up ranking? Let's find out:

Presenting the 8 craziest college football brawls of the 21st century.

Start: 8. Boise State vs. Oregon >>>

8. Boise State vs. Oregon (2009)

Boise State and Oregon didn't get into a full-out brawl like the rest of the teams on this list, but Ducks running back LaGarrette Blount landed perhaps the most devastating post-game punch of the 21st century. 

After the Broncos upended the Ducks to start the 2009 season, Blount, responding to trash talk, wound up and clocked BSU linebacker Byron Hout. He then fought with some of the team's fans on his way to the locker room. It was ugly.

Blount was initially suspended for the rest of the season, but eventually returned to play in his team's final two games.

7. Ohio State vs. Michigan >>>

7. Ohio State vs. Michigan (2013)

There's never any love lost when major rivals Ohio State and Michigan get together. The 2013 edition of the contest, which also featured an incredible ending, included a number of ejections after a brawl broke out in the second quarter. 

With Michigan leading 21-14 early in the second period, three players - Ohio State's Dontre Wilson and Marcus Hall, along with Michigan's Royce Jenkins-Stone - were kicked out of the game for fighting after a tackle was made on a kickoff. It was a crazy scene.

6. UCLA vs. Arizona >>>

6. UCLA vs. Arizona (2011)

This may be the strangest brawl on the list. With Arizona leading UCLA 42-7 just before halftime back in 2011, a fan, dressed as a referee, ran onto the field. Somehow, it led to Wildcats and Bruins players going after each other.

The benches cleared. Two players - UCLA's Taylor Embree and Arizona's Shaquille Richardson - were ejected. The referees clearly had a lot to handle in a short period of time.

5. Florida State vs. Florida >>>

5. Florida State vs. Florida (2003)

Florida and Florida State don't like each other - that's for sure. So it should come as no surprise that's there been at least one benches-clearing brawl in their playing history. Back in 2003, after the Seminoles took down the Gators, 38-34, a melee broke out on the field following the coaches' handshake. 

A few players even used their helmets as weapons. Not good.

4. BYU vs. Memphis >>>

4. BYU vs. Memphis (2014)

Monday's Miami Beach Bowl pitted BYU and Memphis, two teams with very little history. That didn't seem to matter though, as the game was hotly contested from the start. After the Tigers prevailed in double overtime, they celebrated in a pile near one of the end zones. The euphoria was short-lived though, as a massive fight broke out. 

Numerous players threw haymakers. BYU's Kai Nacua sucker-punched Memphis' Alan Cross. A few even took off their helmets to swing them at their opponents. The fallout has yet to be determined.

3. Houston vs. Hawaii >>>

3. Houston vs. Hawaii (2003)

The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl was easily one of the best postseason contests of the 2003 season. Unfortunately, much like Monday's Miami Beach Bowl, it was remembered for all of the wrong reasons.

Immediately following the game, which ended in a Hawaii win after three overtimes, a massive brawl began near the Warriors' bench. One Houston player took his helmet off to swing it at a group of Hawaii players. He missed, and was pummeled by them instead.

2. Clemson vs. South Carolina >>>

2. Clemson vs. South Carolina (2004)

The Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry game, which is now known as the Palmetto Bowl, has always been one of the most feisty in-state battles in the country. Before the 2004 contest even began, things were chippy. South Carolina's players interfered with Clemson's "Hill" entrance, which resulted in some shoving.

With Clemson leading 29-7 and just under six minutes to play in the game, both benches cleared after the Gamecocks turned the ball over on downs. The melee that ensued seemingly lasted forever.

Both schools banned themselves from bowl games. A number of players were suspended for future games. It was a weird end to the famed coaching career of Lou Holtz.

Craziest Brawl Of The 21st Century??? >>>

1. Miami (FL) vs. FIU 

While the rest of the brawls on this list were significant, none of them can hold a candle to what happened between Miami (FL) and FIU back in 2006. The two programs - which are only separated by nine miles - are responsible for by far the craziest brawl of the 21st century.

Following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Miami's James Bryant after a touchdown in the third quarter, the Hurricanes lined up to kick the extra point. A number of players on both teams went after each other during the try, which led to both benches clearing onto the field. Helmets flew. Players were body-slammed. Police were involved.

All in all, 13 players were ejected, and 31 total players wound up being suspended. Even Lamar Thomas, a former Miami player who was calling the game for the Comcast Sports Southeast network, got in trouble.

Back To Start >>>