Photo credit: Tony Walsh/Georgia athletics
Let’s not mince words: going to a bowl game and competing for a sponsored trophy is still a big deal.
With many big-name players and top NFL Draft prospects opting out, some feel that bowl games have lost their luster. On the other hand, we still get intrigued by watching their replacements step up and numerous marquee matchups.
For some, bowl memories last forever. Streaks however, do not.
In this piece, we’ll look at some current and all-time bowl streaks.
Longest Active Bowl Appearance Streaks
- Georgia 24
- Oklahoma 22
- Wisconsin 19
- Alabama 17
- Clemson 16
- Oklahoma State 15
- Texas A&M 12
- Mississippi state 11
We hear all the time how there are too many bowl games, or how it is too easy to make a bowl game in this age of college football. It speaks volumes however, when only eight of 130 FBS teams have a bowl appearance streak in the double digits.
Older coaches will tell you that it is hard to win a football game and that a lot of things have to go right. Well, it is even harder to maintain consistent winning seasons year after year. While Georgia gets clowned for not winning a national championship since 1980, this streak is impressive. As long as Kirby Smart is there, this streak may not be ending for a very long time.
Longest All-Time Bowl Appearance Streak
- Florida State 36 (1982-2017)
- Nebraska 35 (1969-2003)
- Michigan 33 (1975-2007)
- Virginia Tech 27 (1993-2019)
- Alabama 25 (1959-83)
None of the five longest bowl streaks of all-time are active. Michigan didn’t make a bowl game last season but has stormed back in the biggest way. Nebraska has not made a bowl game since 2016, and Florida State is in a similar position with its last appearance coming in 2019.
Virginia Tech was last to end its active streak and the Hokies are heading in a new direction with a new head coach. This all-time list shows us that everything good comes to an end. The college football empires that seem like they will last forever eventually come crashing down.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Comment if you think a program will break Florida State’s all-time record.
Active Bowl Winning Streaks (Excluding National Championships)
- Alabama 6
- Appalachian State 6
- Minnesota 4
- Northwestern 4
- Syracuse 4
- Tennessee 4
- Texas 4
- Troy 4
The craziest thing about this list is that majority of the teams above are not playing in a bowl game this season, but still have an active win streak going. Making bowl games is a big deal, but winning bowl games is an even bigger deal.
Appalachian State is 6-0 in bowl games as an FBS school. It holds the current record for most bowl appearances without a loss.
All-Time Bowl Win Streaks
- Florida State 11 (1985-95)
- USC 9 (1922-44)
- Utah 9 (1999-2009)
- Boston College 8 (2000-07)
- UCLA 8 (1982-91)
Similar to its 14 consecutive seasons finishing ranked in the top 5, Florida State’s record for consecutive bowl wins may never be broken. Legendary FSU head coach Bobby Bowden took great pride in winning bowl games.
Those 11 bowl game wins helped with recruiting and to build program prestige. During FSU’s bowl winning streak, the Seminoles knocked off the likes of Penn State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Florida and Notre Dame.
Boston College’s streak of eight straight bowl wins is underrated as well. The Eagles were playing solid football not that long ago.
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