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Missouri's 20 biggest wins, No. 6: Tigers 20, Alabama 7 (1975)

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Once more: This is a look at 20 games in which a) the combined quality of Missouri and its opponent was really, really high (they're ranked in order of combined S&P+ percentile ratings), and b) Mizzou won.

Missouri was unranked in the preseason heading into 1975. One game into the season, the Tigers were fifth. That's what happen when you completely destroy the No. 2 team in the country in its own backyard.

Win
Rank
Date Opponent Result Mizzou
Score
Opp.
Score
Mizzou
Percentile
Rk Opp.
Percentile
Rk Percentile
Sum
6 9/8/75 Alabama W 20 7 0.897 12 0.983 2 1.880
7 9/9/78 Notre Dame W 3 0 0.889 16 0.984 3 1.873
8 10/23/10 Oklahoma W 36 27 0.906 14 0.961 5 1.867
9 10/23/76 Nebraska W 34 24 0.942 12 0.923 17 1.865
10 1/3/14 Oklahoma State W 41 31 0.935 6 0.923 9 1.858
11 11/18/78 Nebraska W 35 31 0.889 16 0.967 7 1.856
12 9/20/69 Air Force W 19 17 0.955 4 0.896 18 1.851
13 11/18/39 Oklahoma W 7 6 0.913 15 0.936 9 1.849
14 11/28/14 Arkansas W 21 14 0.868 23 0.976 5 1.844
15 10/12/13 Georgia W 41 26 0.935 6 0.907 11 1.842
16 10/4/69 Michigan W 40 17 0.955 4 0.882 20 1.838
17 10/5/68 Army W 7 3 0.930 7 0.905 13 1.835
18 11/12/83 Oklahoma State W 16 10 0.921 10 0.914 12 1.835
19 10/13/73 Nebraska W 13 12 0.851 21 0.975 4 1.826
20 11/5/83 Oklahoma W 10 0 0.921 10 0.893 14 1.814

Eventually a brutal slate would drag the Tigers down -- they would beat No. 14 Oklahoma State but lose to No. 3 Nebraska, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 12 Michigan, and No. 12 Colorado, then (of course) crater with a 42-24 loss to Kansas in the finale. But Al Onofrio's Tigers played one of the program's most perfect games on a Monday night in Birmingham.

We've written about this one before.

Alabama was an absolutely devastating team; in the 11 games that followed the game with Missouri, the Tide would once again catch fire, ripping off 11 wins with an absurd scoring margin of 367-52. But in front of a nationally televised audience on September 8, the Tide got absolutely thumped by Al Onofrio's Missouri Tigers.

Just seven minutes into the game, Missouri had already made a statement. The Tigers held Alabama to a three-and-out, then ground out a 12-play, 58-yard touchdown drive to go up, 7-0. And after another failed Alabama drive, a 17-yard run by running back Tony Galbreath set up a 44-yard field goal.

With 12 minutes to go in the first half, the Tigers struck again. Safety Jim Leavitt recovered a fumble at the Alabama 32, and Mizzou needed eight plays to hammer out another scoring drive, capped by a nine-yard, up-the-middle run by fullback John Blakeman. A 46-yard field goal by Tim Gibbons gave the Tigers a stunning 20-0 lead with time to go before halftime.

For the game, Galbreath finished with 120 yards on 32 carries; his 89 first-half yards set a pace that Alabama simply couldn't match. Mizzou scored on four of its five first-half possessions, and Alabama never threatened to make up the difference. For the game, Alabama rushed 34 times for just 31 yards. Thirty-one! The Tide managed just 118 yards for the entire game, finally scoring early in the fourth quarter. [...]

After the game, Bear Bryant was both gracious and incredibly humbled. "They kicked the hell out of us. What more can I say?"

The win ranked 45th on our Mizzou's Greatest list, and considering nothing but the brilliance of the performance, it probably could have ranked higher. Onofrio's squad would go on to produce even bigger wins (and sillier losses) the next year, but on that Monday night in Birmingham, Missouri was the best team in the country.