College Football's Longest Active Streaks of Winning Seasons Surprisingly Lacks Host of Top Programs

David Hayes
Michigan v Michigan State
Michigan v Michigan State /
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When you think of the gold standard for college football in 2019, most people's minds go to the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Clemson Tigers. Both of these programs have seemingly dominated the most competitive heights of the college football landscape for the past decade, and they're the top two betting favorites to win it all once again this season.

However, the list of FBS Power 5 programs with the longest active streaks of being above .500 coming into the 2019 certainly lacks some of the game's most recognizable brand names.

1. Oklahoma Sooners

- 20 Seasons

2. LSU Tigers

- 19 Seasons

3. Wisconsin Badgers

- 17 Seasons

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

- 14 Seasons

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys

- 13 Seasons

The Oklahoma Sooners take the cake at 20 consecutive seasons, with the LSU Tigers right behind them at 19 straight campaigns of .500 or better. Yet, the lack of college football's two most dominant programs remains striking.

We've watched five national championship games since the inception of the College Football Playoff in 2014, and Alabama and Clemson have combined for four of those titles. In fact, we've now seen an Alabama-Clemson matchup in three of the last four CFP title games.

While it's easy to remember these recent feats, neither of these two programs make the cut for top-5 streaks of winning seasons coming into this year. Nick Saban has never finished a year with a losing record since he took over at Alabama ahead of the 2007 season, but the Tide fell to 6-7 under his predecessor Mike Shula in 2006.

Even though Clemson has posted eight consecutive double-digit win seasons, head coach Dabo Swinney was still at the helm for his program's most recent losing season when the Tigers had a 6-7 finish in the 2010 campaign during his second year.

Beyond Alabama and Clemson, perhaps, the most surprising absentees from the above list are arguably Ohio State, Michigan and Georgia. The Wolverines were the most recent among those three programs to dip below .500, finishing the 2014 season at 5-7 under Brady Hoke. The Buckeyes went 6-7 in 2011 under Luke Fickell, while the Bulldogs finished 6-7 under Mark Richt in 2010.

It seems like it will be quite some time before any of these programs get knocked off their current above-.500 streaks, but they're playing catchup to the likes of mid-tier programs including Oklahoma State and Wisconsin in this department as we head into the 2019 college football season.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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