Somebody wrote in this space last week that Citadel football needed to schedule a cupcake every now and then.

Who knew the cupcake was going to be Power 5 member Georgia Tech of the ACC?

The Yellow Jackets are going through what coach Geoff Collins calls a "monumental" transition, and it shows. Towson and Elon, the two FCS teams that beat The Citadel to start the season, both have better quarterbacks, and both were better prepared for the Bulldogs' triple-option offense.

But that does nothing to diminish the Bulldogs' accomplishment in scoring their first win over Georgia Tech (they had been 0-10) and first over an ACC team (0-22).

The overwhelming advantage that FBS teams enjoy in scholarships (85 to 63), resources (Tech athletics earned $91.7 million last year, compared with $18.4 million for The Citadel) and recruiting means such upsets should almost never happen.

But The Citadel has been as good as almost anybody at pulling off such shockers. Only one FCS team has more upset wins over FBS squads than The Citadel since the NCAA split Division I into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Northern Iowa has 11, and North Dakota State is tied with The Citadel at nine.

Coach Brent Thompson said Monday that the Bulldogs have already moved on to this week's game against crosstown rival Charleston Southern. But for Bulldog fans, there's still time to revel.

Here's one ranking of The Citadel's nine FBS upsets:

1. The Citadel 38, South Carolina 35

Until the Bulldogs knock off Clemson or Alabama, this 1990 upset will be The Citadel's capstone victory. It lives on in the memories of Citadel and USC fans, and presaged big things to come in 1992 for The Citadel with players such as Jack Douglas and Everette Sands.

After 25 years, Citadel’s upset of USC lives on

The scoreboard at Williams-Brice Stadium reflects The Citadel’s 38-35 upset of South Carolina in 1990. Photo provided/The Citadel

2. The Citadel 10, Arkansas 3

It was Arkansas' first game as a member of the mighty SEC, and the embarrassment was such that Razorbacks coach Jack Crowe was fired the next day. The Citadel went on to be ranked No. 1 in the nation in I-AA and to win the Southern Conference title in 1992.

3. The Citadel 23, South Carolina 22

Mike Houston's signature victory at The Citadel came in 2015, his second season with the Bulldogs, who won a share of the SoCon crown that year. The HBC, Steve Spurrier, had retired just four games earlier, thus avoiding a loss to The Citadel on his record.

Another shocker: 25 years later, Citadel stuns Gamecocks again (copy)

Former Citadel coach Mike Houston (center) celebrates with his players in the locker room after the Bulldogs beat South Carolina in 2015. File/The Citadel

4. The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)

The Bulldogs' first win over an ACC team, plus a $400,000 check? Yes, please.

5. The Citadel 15, Army 14

Coach Charlie Taaffe's 1992 team had already won at Arkansas and was 3-0 when it went to storied Michie Stadium at West Point. Backup quarterback CJ Haynes came off the bench, Sands ran for a 44-yard TD and Jeff Trinh kicked a late field goal as The Citadel won before a crowd of 37,692.

6. The Citadel 42, Navy 35

Taaffe had gone 4-7 in his first season and was 1-2 in 1988 when Navy came to Johnson Hagood Stadium. A former defensive back named Gene Brown ran for 121 yards and two TDs in The Citadel's first win over Navy. The upset kicked off a seven-game win streak for the Bulldogs, who earned their first I-AA playoff bid.

7. The Citadel 20, Army 14

Douglas and Sands scored TDs as The Citadel bolted to a 20-0 lead at Michie Stadium in 1991. At that point, it was the Bulldogs' fourth win in their last five games against I-A teams.

8. The Citadel 14, Navy 10

Hurricane Hugo had just swept through Charleston when Douglas had a coming-out party at Navy, coming off the bench in the fourth quarter to rally the Bulldogs to victory and a 3-0 start in 1989. The Citadel's four wins over FBS teams from 1990-92 are the most by any FCS team in a three-year period.

9. The Citadel 27, Vanderbilt 14

The NCAA split Division I into I-A and I-AA in 1978, and the Bulldogs scored their first upset of a higher-division team in 1979. Vanderbilt was bad that year, going 1-10 overall and 0-6 in the SEC.


• The Citadel entered the FCS Top 25 media poll at No. 25 after the victory at Georgia Tech ... Place-kicker Jacob Godek was named SoCon special-teams player of the week after making field goals of 47 and 37 yards at Tech, the second one to win the game in overtime.

• Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey is "day-to-day" with a lower leg injury after he was hurt in the fourth quarter at Georgia Tech. He will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday against Charleston Southern.

Backup Brian Murdaugh, who came in when Rainey was hurt against Georgia Tech, will be the starter if Rainey can't play against CSU, with freshman Evan Schickel behind Murdaugh, Thompson said.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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