The recent bowl ban issued to Ohio State, coming on the heels of USC finishing a two-year ban of its own, and in advance of rulings on cases still pending from Coral Gables to Eugene, has the concept of a bowl ban in the press once again.
There are two schools of thought on the subject — either:
A) a team is going to tank for the duration of the bowl ban period, knowing there are no rewards for even the greatest of successes, or
B) a team is going to put forth its fullest effort, knowing that there is still hope of claiming an AP national championship and throwing a wrench into the machinery that banned them.
What history has proven in the 78 past bowl-ban cases involving 41 programs and 125 lost seasons is that a team is far more likely to finish with a defeat than without one. Here is the breakdown of defeats by season for teams with bowl bans:
The most likely statistical outcome for a team is to fall just short. Just three schools, in fact, have managed to finish with undefeated seasons while serving out a bowl ban. Only two of those three were able to manage even one season with an undefeated, untied record:
Just three schools. And just three times were any of those three teams undefeated and untied. And, in an intriguing bit of coincidence, the undefeated teams fell within three consecutive reigns — 1956-58, 1973-74 and 1993-94.
It’s a hard tougher road to battle than it might seem for even the biggest powerhouses. USC knows all too well, after dreaming Lane Kiffin might keep the winning unhindered as Pete Carroll’s successor in Troy yet falling short both last year (five losses) and this year (two).
Following is the list of every bowl ban served to date:
|School||Bowl Ban||Record in Ban Yrs|
|Auburn||1958-60||9-0-1, 7-3-0, 8-2-0|
|Houston||1966-68||8-2-0, 7-3-0, 6-2-2|
|Indiana||1960-63||1-8-0, 2-7-0, 3-6-0, 3-6-0|
|Kansas St||1970-72||6-5-0, 5-6-0, 3-8-0|
|Kansas St||1978-79||4-7-0, 3-8-0|
|Miami FL||1954-56||8-1-0, 6-3-0, 8-1-1|
|Michigan St||1976-78||4-6-1, 7-3-1, 8-3-0|
|Mississippi St||1975-76||6-4-1, 9-2-0|
|NC St||1956-59||3-7-0, 7-1-2, 2-7-1, 1-9-0|
|New Mexico St||1962-63||4-6-0, 3-6-1|
|Oklahoma St||1978-79||3-8-0, 7-4-0|
|Oklahoma St||1989-91||4-7-0, 4-7-0, 0-10-1|
|South Carolina||1967-68||5-5-0, 4-6-0|
|Southern Miss||1982-83||7-4-0, 7-4-0|
|Tulsa||1970-72||6-4-0, 4-7-0, 4-7-0|
|UCLA||1956-58||7-3-0, 8-2-0, 3-6-1|
|Utah St||1968-69||7-3-0, 3-7-0|