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Longest Win Streaks in College Football's Biggest Rivalries

Tennessee's 15-game skid against Alabama is one of the longest, but Volunteers fans are glad it's over.
Tennessee Volunteers fans

More than a decade's worth of frustration for Tennessee fans came to an emphatic end on Oct. 15, 2022 when the Volunteers defeated Alabama to snap a 15-game losing streak in the "Third Saturday in October" rivalry. 

Tennessee’s win over Alabama last weekend ended a 15-game losing streak to the Tide. The bad run for the Volunteers was one of the longest in the history of college football’s greatest rivalries. To put it in perspective, let’s take a look at the longest win streaks in each one, going from shortest to longest.

Florida vs. Georgia (World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party)

Longest Win Streak: 7 (Georgia, 1941-48, and Florida, 1990-96)

Included in Georgia’s streak is a 75-0 walloping of a Florida team depleted by World War II service in 1942. Head coach Steve Spurrier and the Gators returned the favor when they beat the Bulldogs 52-17 in 1995 in a game played in Athens because the Gator Bowl was undergoing renovations.

Related: 10 Fast Facts About the Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry

Clemson vs. South Carolina

Longest Win Streak: 7 (Clemson, 1934-40 and 2014-present)

The Tigers' first streak in this series happened during the Great Depression without much fanfare. The second is currently happening as the program is experiencing its greatest success with Clemson winning two national championships and making the College Football Playoff four times during this period.

Related: 10 Interesting Facts About the Clemson vs. South Carolina Rivalry

Oregon vs. Oregon State (Civil War)

Longest Win Streak: 8 (Oregon, 1975-82 and 2008-15, and Oregon State, 1964-71)

I have always thought it would be funny if visiting fans stormed the home team’s field and tore down their goalposts. After Oregon broke its eight-game losing streak to Oregon State in Corvallis in 1972, Ducks fans went on the field to do just that, causing a brawl.

Georgia vs. Georgia Tech (Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate)

Longest Win Streak: 8 (Georgia Tech, 1949-56)

While the Bulldogs have dominated this rivalry for almost the last 60 years, the Yellow Jackets set the longest win streak when they were still part of the SEC.

Oklahoma vs. Texas (Red River Showdown)

Longest Win Streak: 8 (Texas, 1940-47 and 1958-65)

During its second eight-game win streak, the second-ranked Longhorns faced No. 1 Oklahoma and won 28-7. Texas then held the top ranking for the rest of the season and won its first national title.

Related: 5 Nastiest Games in the Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry

UCLA vs. USC (Victory Bowl)

Longest Win Streak: 8 (UCLA, 1991-1998)

The Bruins' streak happened while the Trojans were a fledgling program in the 1990s. Then USC responded with a 12-1 run that included two national championships and seven conference titles.

Washington vs. Washington State (Apple Cup)

Longest Win Streak: 8 (Washington, 1959–1966 and 1974–1981)

The Huskies lead this series 74-33-6 and have held 18 multiple-game streaks in the rivalry.

Related: 5 Best Apple Cups

Florida vs. Florida State

Longest Win Streak: 9 (Florida, 1968-76)

Florida dominated this rivalry early, going 16-2-1 and racking up the longest win streak in the series. The last win, a 33-26 victory in Tallahassee in 1976, was in Bobby Bowden’s first year as Seminoles head coach. That’s when this rivalry got interesting.

Related: The Greatest 26 Months of the Florida vs. Florida State Football Rivalry

Alabama vs. Auburn (Iron Bowl)

Longest Win Streak: 9 (Alabama, 1973-1981)

The Tide went 95-12 and won three national titles during this period, while Auburn lost legendary head coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan to retirement after the 1975 season and struggled throughout the '70s. New Tigers head coach Pat Dye arrived in 1981 and Bo Jackson joined him the next season when Auburn snapped the losing streak.

Related: 10 Greatest Moments in Iron Bowl History

Michigan vs. Ohio State (The Game)

Longest Win Streak: 9 (Michigan, 1901-09)

The Wolverines' most dominant run in this series happened before it was truly a rivalry when Fielding Yost’s "point-a-minute" teams beat the Buckeyes by a combined score of 286-18. In fact, Michigan went 13-0-2 at the start of this series and it has proven the difference in its 59–51–6 edge in the rivalry.

Related: 10 Interesting Facts About "The Game"

Alabama vs. LSU (First Saturday in November)

Longest Win Streak: 11 (Alabama, 1971-81)

LSU was one of three programs to snap long winless streaks against Alabama in 1982, along with Tennessee and Auburn. Since then, both schools have had losing records against each other in their home stadiums.

Related: 10 Fast Facts About the Alabama vs. LSU Rivalry

Notre Dame vs. USC

Longest Win Streak: 11 (Notre Dame, 1983-93)

So, Notre Dame was stronger during this run, winning a national championship and finishing in the top five four times, but the Trojans were no slouch and made seven bowl games. This run featured the rivalry’s only No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup (1988) and two fourth-quarter comebacks by the Irish. The 1994 game ended in a 17-17 tie and Notre Dame won again in '95. USC won in overtime in 1996 in Lou Holtz’s last game as Irish head coach and first loss to the Trojans.

Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss (The Egg Bowl)

Longest Win Streak: 13 (Mississippi State, 1911-25)

Ole Miss’ snapping of this losing streak to then-Mississippi A&M helped give this game its name. A fight after the Rebels' 7-6 win in Starkville in 1926 led to the creation of a football-shaped trophy to be kept by the respective winner. The trophy looked like an egg, hence the name.

Related: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Egg Bowl

Alabama vs. Tennessee (Third Saturday in October)

Longest Win Streak: 15 (Alabama, 2007-21)

Take arguably the most dominant run by any college football program as is Nick Saban’s tenure in Tuscaloosa, combine it with Tennessee’s run of six different head coaches during the same period, and get you 15 years of futility in Knoxville.

Related: 5 Greatest Alabama vs. Tennessee Games

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (Bedlam)

Longest Win Streak: 19 (Oklahoma, 1946-64)

Of the 19 wins in this streak, 17 of them occurred under head coach Bud Wilkinson’s tenure.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.