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The 10 Longest Bowl Streaks in CFB History Lasted Decades
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images (left), Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images (right)

Building a successful college football program is like building a dynasty in an NCAA football video game. It takes establishing a culture, carving out a strong recruiting base, creating an identity and inconspicuously being within arm’s reach of the reset button. Take a look back at the legendary careers of Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Woody Hayes, Tom Osborne, Nick Saban and Barry Switzer and you’ll see this is a foolproof method.

Sure, not all these head coaches won 57 national titles in a 60-year span but they did all right. What they did do is build programs you could always count on seeing in a bowl game. It’s irrelevant if it’s the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl or the Rose Bowl, some teams are bowl season regulars who can go up to the bowl committee and say, “I’ll have the usual.”

Naturally, FBS programs from the ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12 have their ups and downs, but some have been able to avoid the particularly bad regular seasons for a long time. These programs, in addition to Miami, Oregon, Arkansas, Auburn, Iowa, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas A&M, Baylor, Boston College, Houston, Marshall, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, USC and Utah, are staples of college football’s postseason and it’s weird when they don’t make a bowl appearance.

So, just who has mastered the art of being bowl eligible over the most consecutive seasons?

The 10 Longest Bowl Streaks in CFB History

T10. Wisconsin Badgers, 20 Years

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Started: 2002 Alamo Bowl vs. Colorado

Ended: Active

T10. LSU Tigers, 20 Years

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Started: 2000 Peach Bowl vs. Georgia Tech

Ended: 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game vs. Clemson

8. Florida Gators, 22 Years

Damian Strohmeyer /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Started: 1991 Sugar Bowl vs. Notre Dame

Ended: 2012 Sugar Bowl vs. Louisville

7. Oklahoma Sooners, 23 Years

Andy Lyons/ALLSPORT via Getty Images

Started: 1999 Independence Bowl vs. Ole Miss

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Ended: Active

T6. Georgia Bulldogs, 25 Years

Matthew Stockman via Getty Images

Started: 1997 Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin

Ended: Active (current longest active bowl streak)

T6. Alabama Crimson Tide, 25 Years

John Iacono /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

RELATED: The 7 Greatest College Football Teams Ever Are All-Time Juggernauts

Started: 1959 Liberty Bowl vs. Penn State

Ended: 1983 Sun Bowl vs. SMU

4. Virginia Tech Hokies, 27 Years

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Started: 1993 Independence Bowl vs. Indiana

Ended: 2019 Belk Bowl vs. Kentucky

3. Michigan Wolverines, 33 Years

Peter Read Miller /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Started: 1975 Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma

Ended: 2007 Capital One Bowl vs. Florida

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 35 Years

John Biever /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Started: 1969 Sun Bowl vs. Georgia

Ended: 2003 Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State

1. Florida State Seminoles, 36 Years

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Started: 1982 Gator Bowl vs. West Virginia

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Ended: 2017 Independence Bowl vs. Southern Miss

On the Cusp

  • Boise State, 18 Years
  • Georgia Tech, 18 Years
  • Alabama, 18 Years (Active)
  • BYU, 17 Years
  • Clemson, 17 Years (Active)
  • Tennessee, 16 Years
  • Ole Miss, 15 Years
  • Ohio State, 15 Years
  • Oklahoma State, 15 Years (Active)
  • Penn State, 13 Years

MORE: The 8 Worst Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time, Ranked

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Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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