North Dakota State’s 39-game win streak by the numbers: Bison chasing Oklahoma’s all-time file

North Dakota State's 39-game win streak by the numbers: Bison chasing Oklahoma's all-time record

North Dakota State No. 1 – the three-time reigning FCS national champions – can join a three-man club on Saturday with a win in southern Illinois.

The Bison (2-0) are aiming for their 40th straight win, which would break the mark Washington set between 1908 and 1914 and bring the school closer to the legendary record set by Oklahoma from 1953 to 1957.

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What kind of a record is that? Can the bison break it this season? When was the last time North Dakota lost? Sporting News addresses these issues.

What is the Division I record?

Oklahoma set the NCAA record with 47 straight wins from 1953 to 1957. The series began on October 10, 1953 with a 19-14 win over No. 15 Texas and ended on November 16, 1957 with a 7-0 defeat to Notre Dame.

The Sooners won two national championships at the track under coach Bud Wilkinson, and no FBS school has had 40 straight wins since then.

What was North Dakota State’s previous record?

The bison won 33 games in a row from 2012 to 2014, but they broke that record with the current series.

How many Division I teams have won 30 games in a row?

USC won 34 straight games from 2003 to 2005, but most of that series was cleared by the NCAA. Miami won 34 straight games from 2000 to 2002 before losing to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Those were the longest stripes of the BCS era.

The state of Florida scored a winning streak of 29 games in the first CFP semi-finals before losing to Oregon. Clemson also had a 29-game winning streak that lasted from 2018 to 2020 before losing to LSU in the 2020 CFP championship game.

Longest division I win streaks

Oklahoma 47 1953-57
Washington 40 1908-14
North Dakota State 39 2017-present
Yale 37 1887-89
Yale 37 1890-93
Toledo 35 1969-71
Penn 34 1896-98
Miami 34 2000-02
North Dakota State 33 2012-14
Penn 31 1896-98
Pitt 31 1914-18
Oklahoma 31 1948-50
Texas 30th 1968-70

When was the last loss in the state of North Dakota?

South Dakota State defeated North Dakota State 33-21 on November 4, 2017. The Bison have won every game since then, and that includes three direct FCS championship runs.

How dominant was the series?

The state of North Dakota has surpassed its last 39 opponents with a combined result of 1,503-481. That’s an average score of 38.5-12.3. Second year coach Matt Entz has been 18-0 since joining Chris Klieman, who took the job in Kansas State in 2019.

Can the state of North Dakota break the record this year?

Yes. The bison has six more games in the regular season, and the FCS will have a 16-team playoff from April 24th. The state of North Dakota would score 46 straight wins if it remained undefeated in the regular season.

North Dakota State 2020-21 schedule

October 3 Central Arkansas W, 39-28
21st of February Youngstown State W, 25-7
27th of February in southern Illinois
6th March in the state of Missouri
March 13th Illinois State
March, 20th against North Dakota
27th of March in South Dakota
3rd of April against South Dakota State
10th of April in northern Iowa

A fourth consecutive FCS championship run would break the record set by Oklahoma.

The state of North Dakota, of course, has to do this without quarterback Trey Lance, who entered the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance played in a game against Central Arkansas last fall and is expected to be a first round election. Tackle Dillon Radunz is also a potential high-round pick that the bison won’t have this spring.

Still, the state of North Dakota can make a run in history. It could just make it in 2021.