Photo courtesy of Kansas athletics
If there is a college football season, it should look much different in 2020.
With Power 5 conferences going to primarily conference and conference-only schedules, making a bowl game will be tougher this coming season. There is a decent chance that teams with losing records will receive bowl bids.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at the five longest bowl droughts among Power 5 schools. Illinois was on this list prior to last season, but reached a bowl for the first time since 2014. Narrowly missing the list were Nebraska and Arkansas.
They each last made a bowl the same year as the No. 5 team on the list, but their bowl games were played later in the year. Therefore, the Cornhuskers and Razorbacks’ bowl drought is not as long.
Without further ado, here are the five longest bowl droughts among Power 5 schools:
Last Bowl: Lost to Boston College 36-30 in Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26, 2016
Overview: The transition from the ACC to the Big Ten has not been a smooth one for Maryland. The Terrapins have not had a winning season since its first in the Big Ten in 2014 and have made just one bowl appearance since. Maryland hasn’t won a bowl game since 2010. Over the last five years, the Terrapins are just 10-34 in conference.
4. Ole Miss
Last Bowl: Defeated Oklahoma State 48-20 in Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016
Overview: The last bowl appearance for Ole Miss was a resounding victory over Oklahoma State in a New Year’s Six contest to close the 2015 season. After a 5-7 campaign in 2016, Ole Miss went 6-6 in 2017, but were ineligible to play in a bowl due to NCAA sanctions. Over the last two seasons, the Rebels have gone 5-7 and 4-8, respectively. Lane Kiffin will become Ole Miss’ third head coach in five seasons.
Last Bowl: Defeated North Carolina 40-21 in Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26, 2014
Overview: Like Maryland, Rutgers’ last winning season came in its first as a member of the Big Ten. In 2014, the Scarlet Knights finished a respectable 8-5 with a Quick Lane Bowl victory over North Carolina. Rutgers hasn’t won more than four games in any season since. In the five years since, the Scarlet Knights have gone winless in Big Ten play three times.
2. Oregon State
Last Bowl: Defeated Boise State 38-23 in Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, 2013
Overview: Oregon State enters 2020 having endured six straight losing seasons, but things are looking up for the Beavers. After combining for three wins in 2017 and 2018, Oregon State went 5-7 last season under second-year head coach Jonathan Smith. Three losses came by three points or less. The 4-5 record in Pac-12 play was the best for the Beavers since 2013.
Last Bowl: Defeated Minnesota 42-21 in Insight Bowl on Dec. 31, 2008
Overview: Call it the curse of Mark Mangino. In 2007, Kansas won the Orange Bowl and finished in the top 5. The following season, the Jayhawks went 8-5 and defeated Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. After a 5-0 start in 2009, Kansas lost its final seven games, fired Mangino and hasn’t been to a bowl since. Over the last 11 years, Kansas doesn’t have more than one Big 12 win in any season and just seven total.