Historically, Arkansas Is Quite The High Volume Bowl Game Loser

Bret Bielema has a chance to make history. (courtesy Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.)

As you can see below, Arkansas football is in the top 15 all-time when it comes to bowl game appearances, but far, far down the list (at No. 62) when it comes to winning percentage.

Major College Programs By # Of Bowl Games Played Before December 29, 2015

Team Bowls Won Lost Tied Winning % Bowls Played # of Back-to-Backs Times Won At Least 2 Bowl Games in Consecutive Years
1 Alabama 35 24 3 56.5% 62 8
2 Texas 27 24 2 50.9% 53 8
3 USC 34 17 66.7% 51 8
4 Tennessee 26 24 52.0% 50 5
5 Nebraska 24 26 48.0% 50 6
6 Georgia 28 19 3 56.0% 50 9
7 Oklahoma 28 19 1 58.3% 48 8
8 LSU 23 22 1 50.0% 46 6
9 Penn State 28 15 2 62.2% 45 7
10 Ohio State 21 23 47.7% 44 4
11 Michigan 20 23 46.5% 43 4
12 Florida State 25 15 2 59.5% 42 3
13 Florida 21 20 51.2% 41 4
14 Arkansas 14 23 3 35.0% 40 0
15 Auburn 22 15 2 56.4% 39 6

Major College Programs By Bowl Game Winning Percentage (as of December 29, 2015)

Team Bowls Won Lost Tied Win% Bowls Played “Back to Backs” Longest Bowl Wins Streak In Consecutive Years
1 Utah 14 4 77.8% 18 2 7
2 USC 34 17 66.7% 51 8 6
3 Rutgers 6 3 66.7% 9 1 4
4 Oklahoma State 16 9 64.0% 25 5 3
5 Mississippi 23 13 63.9% 36 6 4
6 Penn State 28 15 2 62.2% 45 7 5
7 Syracuse 15 9 1 60.0% 25 3 6
8 Oregon State 9 6 60.0% 15 2 3
9 Wake Forest 6 4 60.0% 10 1 2
10 Army 3 2 60.0% 5 1 2
11 Florida State 25 15 2 59.5% 42 3 11
12 Oklahoma 28 19 1 58.3% 48 8 4
13 Vanderbilt 4 2 1 57.1% 7 1 2
14 Alabama 35 24 3 56.5% 62 8 6
15 Auburn 22 15 2 56.4% 39 6 3
16 Georgia 28 19 3 56.0% 50 9 4
17 Mississippi State 10 8 55.6% 18 2 2
18 Boston College 13 11 54.2% 24 2 8
19 North Carolina State 15 12 1 53.6% 28 4 3
20 Kentucky 8 7 53.3% 15 1 3
21 Purdue 9 8 52.9% 17 2 3
22 Tennessee 26 24 52.0% 50 5 3
23 Texas Tech 14 12 1 51.9% 27 4 3
24 Miami (Florida) 18 17 51.4% 35 3 5
25 Florida 21 20 51.2% 41 4 4
26 Texas 27 24 2 50.9% 53 8 5
27 LSU 23 22 1 50.0% 46 6 4
28 Clemson 18 18 50.0% 36 2 5
29 Arizona State 14 13 1 50.0% 28 3 4
30 Iowa 14 13 1 50.0% 28 4 3
31 Stanford 12 11 1 50.0% 24 5 2
32 Kansas 6 6 50.0% 12 1 2
33 Washington State 5 5 50.0% 10 0 0
34 Washington 16 16 1 48.5% 33 4 3
35 Notre Dame 16 17 48.5% 33 5 3
36 Missouri 15 16 48.4% 31 3 2
37 Nebraska 24 26 48.0% 50 6 6
38 Ohio State 21 23 47.7% 44 4 5
39 Baylor 10 11 47.6% 21 2 2
40 California 10 10 1 47.6% 21 2 4
41 Texas A&M 17 19 47.2% 36 2 4
42 UCLA 16 17 1 47.1% 34 2 7
43 TCU 14 15 1 46.7% 30 4 4
44 Michigan 20 23 46.5% 43 4 4
45 Wisconsin 12 14 46.2% 26 2 3
46 North Carolina 14 17 45.2% 31 2 4
47 Illinois 8 10 44.4% 18 1 2
48 Louisville 8 9 1 44.4% 18 1 2
49 Arizona 8 9 1 44.4% 18 2 2
50 Colorado 12 16 42.9% 28 2 4
51 Oregon 12 16 42.9% 28 3 4
52 West Virginia 14 19 42.4% 33 2 4
53 Georgia Tech 14 19 42.4% 33 5 6
54 Maryland 11 13 2 42.3% 26 2 2
55 Pittsburgh 13 18 41.9% 31 4 3
56 Michigan State 10 14 41.7% 24 2 4
57 South Carolina 8 12 40.0% 20 2 4
58 BYU 13 19 1 39.4% 33 4 4
59 Virginia Tech 11 17 39.3% 28 2 2
60 Kansas State 7 11 38.9% 18 1 2
61 Virginia 7 11 38.9% 18 2 2
62 Arkansas 14 23 3 35.0% 40 0 0
63 Indiana 3 6 33.3% 9 0 0
64 Minnesota 5 12 29.4% 17 1 3
65 Duke 3 8 27.3% 11 0 0
66 Iowa State 3 9 25.0% 12 0 0
67 Northwestern 2 9 18.2% 11 0 0

Arkansas’ overall losing percentage has led to one of the most unusual and unlikely stats in college football history: the program has never won “back-to-back” bowl games, or at least two bowls games in consecutive years despite the high number of games it has played.

As you can see in the chart based on sports-reference.com stats above, no other program which has played at least 40 programs has less than three such back-to-backs (i.e. Florida State).

Of course, on January 2, 2016, Arkansas has a chance to finally break this streak while continuing to steadily up its overall bowl winning percentage under head coach Bret Bielema. I write more about that in an upcoming piece to which I’ll soon link.


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