Home NCAA Column: A Look at All-Time and Current Bowl Streaks

Column: A Look at All-Time and Current Bowl Streaks

by coach___cooper
The Georgia Bulldogs played Florida State back in the 2002 Sugar Bowl.

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 26
  • Oklahoma 24
  • Wisconsin 21
  • Alabama 19
  • Clemson 18
  • Oklahoma State 17
  • Mississippi state 13

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 at 13+.

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. Want to know how special the Georgia Bowl Appearance Streak is? When it started in 1997 Kirby Smart was a Junior playing defensive back at Georgia. Now he is the head coach, and it doesn’t look like this streak will ever end under him.

Longest All-Time Bowl Appearance Streak

  • Florida State 36 (1982-2017)
  • Nebraska 35 (1969-2003)
  • Michigan 33 (1975-2007)
  • Virginia Tech 27 (1993-2019)
  • Georgia 26 (1997-Present)
  • Alabama 25 (1959-83)

None of the six longest bowl streaks of all-time are active except Georgia. The Bulldogs have an amazing opportunity to be #1 on this list eventually. Meanwhile, Nebraska has not made a bowl game since 2016, and Florida State just made their first bowl game since 2019. Virginia Tech was last to end its active streak and the Hokies are heading in a new direction with a first year 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.

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.

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