These 5 College Football Teams Are On Double-Digit Losing Streaks; Which Streak Will Last The Longest?

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These 5 College Football Teams Are On Double-Digit Losing Streaks; Which Streak Will Last The Longest?


These 5 College Football Teams Are On Double-Digit Losing Streaks; Which Streak Will Last The Longest?


As the 2018 college football season nears its start, there are five FBS teams that have lost at least 10 games in a row: UTEP (12), Kansas (11), Oregon State (10), Illinois (10) and Rice (10).

Naturally, these five teams are all expected to be lousy again this season. In CBS’ ranking of all 129 FBS teams, Illinois was 93rd, Oregon State was 110th, Kansas 114th and UTEP dead last.

But with the beginning of the season comes a fresh new round of paid games against small schools and lower-division competition, a chance to even, perhaps, start a winning streak.

So which college football losing streak lasts longest? A breakdown:

UTEP Miners

First four opponents (including CBS ranking):

  • Northern Arizona (FCS)
  • UNLV (96)
  • Tennessee (74)
  • New Mexico State (99)

Kansas Jayhawks

First four opponents:

  • Nichols State (FCS)
  • Central Michigan (112)
  • Rutgers (89)
  • Baylor (76)

Oregon State Beavers

First four opponents:

  • Ohio State (4)
  • Southern Utah (FCS)
  • Nevada (97)
  • Arizona (36)

Illinois Illini

First four opponents:

  • Kent State (127)
  • Western Illinois (FCS)
  • South Florida (60)
  • Penn State (8)

Rice Owls

First four opponents:

  • Prairie View A&M (FCS)
  • Houston (41)
  • Hawaii (122)
  • Southern Miss (89)

UTEP, Kansas and Rice all open the season at home against FCS teams, which is as close as you can get to buying a win without committing a federal crime.

But let’s look at who those foes really are, because Kansas is not above losing to an FCS team. It did so in 2010 and 2015, and the FCS team it’s facing this year, Nicholls State, is not a bad one. It went 8-4 and played Texas A&M to within 10 points last year. UTEP’s FCS foe of choice is Northern Arizona, another quality FCS team. The Lumberjacks made the FCS playoffs last year, though they suffered massive defeats at the hands of Arizona State (44-13) and Arizona (62-24). Then there’s Rice. The Owls open with Prairie View A&M, which set the NCAA record with 80 losses in a row from 1989-98, but went 6-5 last season.

While Kansas and UTEP could easily lose to a couple of quality FCS teams, we’re going to be nice and assume those two streaks end in week one, and we’ll assume Rice can handle an average team from one of the worst conferences in the country.

Illinois should be able to take care of Kent State. That leaves Oregon State, which is probably not beating Ohio State in Week 1, regardless of what’s going on with Urban Meyer. After that it faces Southern Utah, which made the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2017, before facing two more teams projected to be better than the Beavers this year.

If Oregon State loses to Southern Utah in Week 2, the streak will be at 12 with the Pac-10 schedule beginning the next week. Considering the Beavers didn’t win a conference game in 2017, this streak could be deep into the teens by mid-October.

Pure probability suggests that’s not likely to happen. If you include FCS ball, the longest active losing streak belongs to Virginia Military at 17.

The longest losing streak in FBS history belongs to Northwestern, which lost 34 in a row from 1979-82.


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