|Phil Steele Blog • July 13, 2015|
Current Win/Loss Streaks in FBS.
Longest Current Winning Streak
During a five year run beginning in 1953, the Oklahoma Sooners, led by legendary Bud Wilkinson, ripped off an FBS record 47 game winning streak that still stands as the longest ever in college football. The streak was famously ended at home against Notre Dame, which helped the Irish begin to cement their reputation as the top giant killer in college athletics (ND also ended the longest NCAA basketball streak, held by UCLA).
Heading into last year, Florida State had won 14 straight games and they survived numerous close calls in 2014 to run their streak to 27 games heading into the playoffs. The Seminoles, of course, were then buried in an avalanche of turnovers en route to a 59-20 shellacking at the hands of Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
Not surprisingly, the new active leader in wins is Ohio State, which surprisingly won its final 13 games after an ignominious home loss to Virginia Tech. Behind the Buckeyes is Boise State at 9 games, including a Fiesta Bowl win and Mountain West Championship. Also worth noting is the 6 game tally for Appalachian State, particularly since it was so surprising. Last year, the Mountaineers were playing their first year of FBS football and had just lost in overtime to FCS Liberty to fall to 1-5 before they shockingly ripped off a six game win streak, all against conference opponents. At the moment, the ledger of active streak leaders, posted below, is rather modest, but with Ohio State’s returning talent and schedule, the Buckeyes are poised to extend their streak into 2016.
- Ohio State- 13 games
- Boise State- 9 games
- TCU- 8 games
- Memphis- 7 games
- Appalachian State- 6 games
- Western Kentucky- 5 games
T-7. Michigan State- 4 games
T-7. Navy- 4 games
By way of comparison, two teams are tied for the longest streak of the millennium: Miami (FL), which notched 34 straight wins under Butch Davis and Larry Coker from 2000-2002 until its controversial loss to Ohio State in its second straight BCS Championship Game, and USC from 2003-2005, which also had its 34 win streak in the BCS Championship by Vince Young and Texas (note- the Trojans’ wins were later vacated by the NCAA for various rule violations under Pete Carroll during that time).
Looking back a bit, here are the longest streaks by decade dating back to the 1960s:
- 2010: Florida State- 27
- 2000-09: USC and Miami (FL)- 34
- 1990-99: Miami (FL)- 29 (’90-’92)
- 1980-89: BYU- 25 (’83-’85)
- 1970-79: Oklahoma- 28 (’73-’75)
- 1960-69: Arkansas, Ohio State and Penn State- 22
(’63-’65- Ark; ’67-’69- OSU; ’68-’69-PSU)
Longest Home Winning Streak
Aside from overall winning streaks, it is often fun to look at the historical and current home and road winning streaks as well. Although Miami (FL) has struggled historically with attendance at times, the Orange Bowl was an overwhelmingly difficult place to play during the Hurricanes’ heyday in the 1980s and 90s. From October 1985 through September 1994, Miami won 58 straight games at home, which stands as the all-time record, before losing to #19 Washington. Here are the top 10 all-time winning streaks in the post-World War II era with Boise State on the “Smurf Turf” as the only team to appear more than once!
- Miami (FL): 58
- Nebraska: 47 (1991-’98)
T-3. Texas: 42 (1968-’76)
T-3. Florida State: 42 (1995-’01)
5. Oklahoma: 39 (2005-’11)
6. Boise State: 35 (2006-’11)
T-7. Texas A&M: 31 (1990- ’95)
T-7. Boise State: 31 (2001-‘05)
9. Florida: 30 (1994-’99)
T-10. Michigan: 28 (1969-’73)
T-10. USC: 28 (2001-’05)
Longest Current Home Winning Streak
Not unexpectedly, Alabama and Baylor lead the way for current winning streaks, while Boise State has started building another streak at home on its blue turf. Florida State narrowly escaped Clemson and won controversially against Notre Dame to keep its active streak alive.
T-1. Alabama: 16
T-1. Baylor: 16
T-3. Boise State: 14
T-3. Florida State: 14
5. UCF: 10
T-6. Utah State: 9
T-6. Clemson: 9
T-8. Mississippi State: 8
T-8. Colorado State: 8
T-8. San Diego State: 8
Longest All-Time Road Winning Streak
While protecting home field advantage is obviously crucial, it is often said that the true test of a team is its ability to win away from home. During the time that Oklahoma was building its 47 game record winning streak, the Sooners set the record for road wins in the process starting on Halloween of 1953. Here are the list of longest post-WWII road winning streaks:
- Oklahoma: 25 (1953-’58)
- Alabama: 21 (1970-’75)
- Miami (FL): 20 (1984-’88)
- Oregon: 19 (2009-’13)
T-5. Miami (FL): 18 (1984-’88)
T-5. Texas: 18 (2003-’06)
T-5. USC: 18 (2003-’06)
T-8. Boise State: 17 (2008-’10)
T-8. Northern Illinois: 17 (2011-’14)
Longest Current Road Winning Streak
Currently, Ohio State leads the way with a 14 game road winning streak. The Buckeyes, therefore, could move into the Top 5 All-Time with a clean sweep of its 5 games away from Columbus. They will likely be favored by at least one touchdown in each contest, so it is highly possible that they will run the table.
- Ohio State: 14
- Florida State: 12
- Missouri: 10
- UCLA: 7
- Marshall: 6
- Oregon: 5
- Six tied at 4
Longest Current Conference Winning Streak
Florida State stands far atop the current conference winning streak leaderboard, as they have dominated the ACC to the tune of 24 straight wins. Incredibly, Georgia Southern makes the list with an unblemished record in its first season of conference play! Here is the list of current conference winning streaks:
- Florida State (ACC): 24
- Ohio State (Big Ten): 9
- Oregon (Pac 12): 8
- Georgia Southern (Sun Belt): 8
T-5. Alabama (SEC): 7
T-5. TCU (Big 12): 7
T-5. Northern Illinois (MAC): 7
T-5. Boise State (Mountain West): 7
T-5. Cincinnati (AAC): 7
NOTE: WKU leads CUSA at 3
All-Time Conference Winning Streaks
Here are the all-time winning streaks by conference, including direct predecessor conferences such as the Pac 8/10 or the Western Conference (now Big 10). The Big12 was formed as a merger of two conferences, so it does not include those former conferences although they are both noted below (SWC and Big 8). One item of note: while OSU actually has an active 24 game winning streak in conference regular season games under Urban Meyer, they lost in the 2013 Big Ten Championship to Michigan State. In addition, college football observers who have seen Southern Mississippi struggle recently might have forgotten how good USM was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
AAC: Central Florida: 11 (2013-’14)
ACC: Florida State: 29 (1992-’95); also ranks #2 and #3
Big Ten: Ohio State: 20 (2005-‘07)
Big 12: Texas: 21 (2004-’06)
CUSA: Southern Mississippi: 14 (1998-’00); also ranks #2
MAC: Northern Illinois: 25 (2011-’13)
Mt. West: TCU: 24 (2008-’11); BYU and Utah and #2 and #3,
respectively; the longest of existing member is Fresno State (#4; 12 game win streak)
Pac 12: USC: 21 (2003-’06)
SEC: Alabama: 27 (1976-’80)
Sun Belt: North Texas: 18 (2001-’03); longest of existing member is Troy
(#2 ;14 game win streak)
Finally, here are the longest win streaks for a few defunct conferences:
Big East: Miami (FL): 27 (1999-’03)
Big 8: Oklahoma: 44 (1952-’59); also #2 at 31.
SWC: Texas A&M: 26 (1991-’94)
WAC: Boise State: 31 (2001-’05)
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