Photo courtesy of Garnet and Great/Florida State football archivist
It is almost New Year’s Eve.
That is now the most exciting day in college football with the placement of the College Football Playoff. For years, New Year’s Day held that distinction.
With all the opt-outs, COVID-19 cancellations and so on, we want it to be known at Fifth Quarter that we still care about bowl games. Making and winning bowls should still be a big deal. After all, the majority of trophy rooms around college football are mostly filled with bowl game trophies.
As a competitor, the game means a little more when you were formally invited and a trophy is on the line. While it has become easier to put a bowl appearance streaks together with more than 40 scheduled bowls, it is now more difficult to win consecutive bowl games.
Currently, Alabama has won six bowl games consecutively and that is the nation’s longest active streak. There is one record for bowl wins however, that will likely never be broken.
All Time Streak: Florida State — 11 Straight Bowl Wins (1985-96)
With all the opt-outs that now plague bowl season, it is going to be hard for any team to ever collect 11 consecutive bowl game victories. While Alabama currently sits at six (national championship losses do not count), it is hard to imagine the Crimson Tide to continuously keep winning in the playoff or that a future minor bowl game couldn’t bite them.
That is why the 11-game bowl winning streak from Florida State will be untouchable for years to come.
Once upon a time, bowl games meant something. While it’s not hard to understand why a kid would protect his future financial investment, there was something about being a competitor back then. Even when your team was not playing for it all, it was important to bring that bowl trophy home.
Over the final nine years of FSU’s streak under the legendary Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles finished in the top five every year. That means that FSU was not only winning bowls, but it was doing so against stellar competition.
Here’s a look back at the streak:
- Gator Bowl – Dec. 30, 1985: Florida State 34, Oklahoma State 23
- All-American Bowl – Dec. 31, 1986: Florida State 27, Indiana 13
- Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 1, 1988: Florida State 31, Nebraska 28
- Sugar Bowl – Jan. 2, 1989: Florida State 13, Auburn 7
- Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 1, 1990: Florida State 41, Nebraska 17
- Blockbuster Bowl – Dec. 28, 1990: Florida State 24, Penn State 17
- Cotton Bowl – Jan. 1, 1992: Florida State 10, Texas A&M 2
- Orange Bowl – Jan. 1, 1993: Florida State 27, Nebraska 14
- Orange Bowl – Jan. 1, 1994: Florida State 18, Nebraska 16
- Sugar Bowl – Jan. 2, 1995: Florida State 23, Florida 17
- Orange Bowl – Jan. 1, 1996: Florida State 31, Notre Dame 26