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College Football: Winning/Losing Streaks in Games Decided by Eight Points or Less

Posted by Andrew McKillop on September 6, 2011

Post Highlights

  • From 1984-86, Penn State had a streak of 16 wins in games decided by eight points or less.
  • From 1909-1917, Wake Forest had a streak of 16 losses in games decided by eight points or less.
  • In 1940, UCLA played in six straight games decided by eight points or less, and lost them all.

 

In games decided by eight points or less, Auburn has now 9 nine in a row.   Auburn’s current streak is impressive, but it isn’t a FBS/major college football record.  From 1984 to 1988, Penn State had a streak of 16 wins in games decided by eight points or less.

 

Longest Winning Streaks in Games Decided by Eight Points or Less

School Strk From To
Penn St W 16 1984 1988
Notre Dame W 14 1937 1939
BYU W 13 2007 2010
Auburn W 11 1955 1958
Pennsylvania W 11 1890 1892
Princeton ¹ W 11 1869 1876
Purdue W 11 1979 1981

¹ It’s important to keep in mind “scores” had different point values assessed to them in the early years of college football.  Consequently most games resulted in low scores (margins).


There have been three occasions (post 1900) in which a school has played in 6 straight games decided by eight points or less, and won them all (1979 UNLV, 1985 Penn State, and 1991 Alabama).


From 1909 to 1917, Wake Forest lost 16 straight games decided by eight points or less.

Longest Losing Streaks in Games Decided by Eight Points or Less

School L Strk From To
Wake Forest L 16 1909 1917
New Mexico St L 14 1987 1991
Clemson L 13 1997 1999
New Mexico L 12 1988 1991
Minnesota L 11 1957 1959
Richmond L 11 1977 1979
SMU L 11 2006 2008
Virginia Tech L 11 1972 1975
Washington MO L 11 1932 1936


In 1940, UCLA played in 6 straight games decided by eight points or less, and lost them all.

North Carolina State is the last school (2006) to have played in 5 straight games decided by eight points or less, and to have lost them all.

 

Reference: James Howell’s College Football Scores, College Football Data Warehouse, College Football at Sports-Reference.com

 

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