Photo courtesy of Kansas athletics
We are in the best time of the year for life and college football.
We have Christmas around the corner, the celebration of the New Year coming up, and now bowl season is upon us. For 84 FBS teams, it is the happiest time of the year.
Players get to leave their college town for a bit, get cool bowl game gifts, tour a new city, and compete for a trophy. For the other 46 teams that stay at home, they can see their families earlier than expected.
Some of those 46 teams have experienced a longer drought than others. We’d hate to be a Grinch, but we present the three Power 5 teams that are experiencing the longest bowl droughts:
Last Bowl: Lost to Tennessee 38-24 in Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, 2016
Overview: 20 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Nebraska missing a bowl in five straight seasons, but that’s where we are. Head coach and former national championship-winning quarterback Scott Frost was considered to be a home run hire, but in four seasons so far, he’s gone just 15-29. No prior Nebraska head coach had consecutive losing seasons since Bill Jennings had five straight from 1957 to 1962. Frost seems to be trying his best to tie Jennings, as he currently sits at four straight.
Last Bowl: Defeated North Carolina 40-21 in Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26, 2014
Overview: 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 has now completed year two of the second stint of Greg Schiano. He has the Scarlet Knights trending the right direction. They finished just one win shy of a bowl berth at 5-7.
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 13 years, Kansas doesn’t have more than one Big 12 win in any season and just eight total. The Jayhawks have gone winless twice during that stretch. Kansas has never been regarded as a football school, but the 13 straight losing seasons is the longest stretch in program history. The Jayhawks seem to be more competitive under new head coach Lance Leipold. This season’s win at Texas served as its first road victory in Big 12 play since the George W. Bush administration.
Fifth Quarter managing editor Mike Ferguson contributed to this article.