At the moment, there are four teams on pace to finish the 2015 college football season without a win: UCF, Kansas, North Texans and New Mexico State. It’s a special season, and not just because the Aggies can become the only team since 2005 with more than one season without a single win.
Over the last ten seasons, we’ve never had more than two teams going winless in one season. In 2005, the New Mexico State (who we’ve just mentioned) and Temple combined for 0 wins. The Aggies were playing in the WAC for the first time, moving in from the Sub Belt. Temple were beginning their time as an independent. Syracuse had 0 wins in 2005 and 2006, but that was due to them being vacated, not actually going winless on the field for an entire season.
In 2006 Duke and Florida International were the bottom feeders of college football. Duke were shut out in three of their four first games that season. They lost their final game of 2006 to North Carolina in the Battle for the Victory Bell by one point.
No one had 0 wins in 2006. In 2008, Washington under Tyrone Willingham ended the season at 0-12. That brutal year included a 56-0 loss to USC, a double overtime loss to Washington State and the season ending with a 31-point defeat at the hands of California. Willingham was fired at the end of that season, which led to the Steve Sarkisian era, which wasn’t embarrassing, but wasn’t anything special as well.
In 2009 we went back to the tradition of two awful teams not being able to win a single game. Western Kentucky in their inaugural Sun Belt season went 0-12 although they were quite competitive in the end, losing the final three games by a combined 13 points; and Eastern Michigan, who lost senior starting quarterback Andy Schmitt in week 3 against Michigan. They also had an 0-12 season, and after Schmitt went down, they were rarely involved in any close games.
We’re getting closer to the end of our story, bringing us to 2013. Yes, three years of every team in the land winning at least one of their games, we got back to having two distinct losers amongst the FBS members. Who this time? Miami (Redhawks) and Georgia State. For Miami, the endless losing meant firing Don Treadwell midway through the season after two 4-8 years. For the Panthers, it was their first season as FBS members, so losing a lot was more understandable. Trent Miles was the head coach that first year, and he’s still their head coach, leading them to three wins since.
And before we sign off, is there a win in sight for this year’s candidates? Kansas are a lost cause, and so are UCF. What about New Mexico State? Their only hope is the Louisiana-Monroe game that ends the season, a team that’s winless in the Sun Belt action and 1-6 overall. North Texas? They haven’t been in a single close game this year. Maybe against UTSA, maybe.