A century ago, John Heisman, long before his name adorned the award given each year to the best individual performer in college football, coached Georgia Tech to one of the most lopsided victories in sports history with a 222-0 shellacking of Cumberland College on October 7, 1916.
The rout can be traced back to a 22-0 loss the Georgia Tech baseball team, also coached by Heisman, suffered in the spring of 1915. Heisman suspected that Cumberland had stacked its team with professional ringers.
He didn't have to wait long for his chance for revenge. Cumberland discontinued its football program in 1916 but had committed to play Georgia Tech on Oct. 7 before the program was suspended. Cumberland reportedly would owe Tech $3,000 if the game was not played. Heisman insisted Cumberland come to Atlanta and play the game. He chipped in $500 (worth roughly $11,500 today) and paid for travel expenses.
Cumberland's roster was filled with fraternity brothers assembled by the team's student manager. Tech was stocked with players went on to win the national championship in 1917 by defeating Cal in the Rose Bowl.
Tech scored on every possession and racked up 63 points in each of the first two quarters. Cumberland never made a first down.
Heisman did show a bit of mercy in the second half, limiting the quarters to 12 minutes instead of 15. But, still, the damage was done. It remains the worst defeat in the history of college football.