Though establishing requirements for Power Fives to play at least one Power Five opponent out of conference each season is a move in the right direction, some programs will struggle with the new ruling more than others.
For instance, while Alabama hasn’t lost to a power team in the regular season since falling to Florida State in 2007, Tennessee hasn’t won such a game since beating NC State in the 2012 season opener in Atlanta.
Here are the ten teams with the longest winning droughts vs. regular-season, non-conference Power Five opponents. In this case “Power Five” applies to any team that is currently in either the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC plus Notre Dame and BYU.
Most Recent Win: Oct. 2, 2010, 29-27 vs. Georgia
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 17, 2016, at Michigan
Colorado’s drought needs quantifying by pointing out that it hasn’t played a Power Five team out of conference during the regular season since losing at Ohio State in 2011.
The year of the Buffs last such win, 2010, was also their final season as Big 12 members and their best finish (5-7) since posting a 6-7 record in 2007.
Most Recent Win: Sept. 18, 2010, 34-31 vs. Notre Dame
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 12, 2015, vs. Oregon
Even though Michigan State beat a non-conference Power Five in the postseason as recently as last year, edging Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, it hasn’t beaten a non-Big Ten, Power Five foe in the regular season in four years.
The Spartans got wiped out at Oregon last season and dropped three straight to Notre Dame from 2011-13. Michigan State gets extra credit because its losses all came to ranked teams with the exception of the 2011 Irish.
Most Recent Win: Sept. 11, 2010, 28-25 vs. Georgia Tech
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 26, 2015, at Rutgers
Kansas’ last win, of any kind, against a non-conference Power Five came during the first of Turner Gill’s two seasons in Lawrence, a three-point triumph over the then No. 15 Yellow Jackets. It was also the last time the Jayhawks beat a ranked opponent.
Since then, Kansas has dropped games at Duke (2014) and at Georgia Tech (2011). This means there wasn’t a Power Five foe outside of Big 12 play in 2012 or 2013.
Most Recent Win: Sept. 4, 2010, 23-16 at Louisville
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Nov. 28, 2015, vs. Louisville
Kentucky’s regular non-SEC, Power Five foe is Louisville, a team it’s dropped four straight to including a 44-40 loss last season.
The Wildcats’ most recent win over a non-SEC team that was in a Power Five conference when the two teams met (remember Louisville was still in the Big East in 2010), came in 2007 when they beat Florida State in the Music City Bowl.
The last time it happened in the regular season was in 2004, when Kentucky knocked off Indiana 51-32 in Lexington.
Most Recent Win: Sept. 29, 2007, 33-19 vs. Notre Dame
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 19, 2015, vs. Virginia Tech
Purdue, like Kentucky, earns a spot on the list by virtue of playing the same Power foe each season. In this case it’s Notre Dame, a team the Boilermakers have dropped seven straight to, but won’t face again until 2020-21.
During the streak, Purdue also lost regular-season games to Oregon (2008 and 2009) and fell to Oklahoma State in the 2012 Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Most Recent Win: Sept. 16, 2006, 17-15 vs. Baylor (in Seattle)
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 12, 2015, at Rutgers
The last time the Cougars won a regular-season, non-conference game against a Power Five was also the last time they were ranked (No. 25 in the Oct. 29, 2006 AP poll) and the last time they managed a .500 record (6-6).
Losses since then consist of Rutgers (2014), Auburn (2013), BYU (2012), Oklahoma State (2010 and 2008), Notre Dame (2009, in San Antonio, Texas), Baylor (2008) and Wisconsin (2007).
Though it’s not pretty, you have to give Washington State tons of credit for consistently scheduling quality non-conference games, despite its struggles.
4. Texas A&M
Most Recent Win: Sept. 18, 2004, 27-6 vs. Clemson
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 5, 2015, vs. Arizona State (in Houston, Texas)
Though the Aggies beat a Power Five out of conference as recently as their win at the end of last season vs. West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl, they haven’t won such a game in the regular season in a decade.
As shocking as this is, it’s key to remember that Texas A&M hasn’t even had a non-conference, Power Five on its slate since 2011, its final season in the Big 12 when it got edged by Arkansas.
Regular-season losses in the streak consist of Arkansas (2009, 2010 and 2011), Miami (Fla.) (2007 and 2008) and Clemson (2005).
3. Texas Tech
Most Recent Win: Sept. 18, 2004, 70-35 vs. TCU
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Sept. 19, 2015, at Arkansas
Before last years’ loss to Arkansas in Lubbock, Texas Tech hadn’t squared off with a current Power Five, non-conference foe in the regular season since beating TCU back in 2004.
But the Horned Frogs were C-USA members 10 years ago, pushing the Red Raiders’ win over an opponent that was a Power Five member when the two actually met back to a season earlier, in 2003, when it edged Ole Miss in Oxford.
In Tech’s case it’s not so much that it has suffered a long string of regular-season losses to Power Fives, it’s that it chose not to play them at all.
The Red Raiders’ most recent win over a Power Five in the postseason came in 2013, when they upset No. 16 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.
2. NC State
Most Recent Win: Sept. 20, 2003, 49-21 vs. Texas Tech
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Oct. 8, 2016, vs. Notre Dame
Ironically, NC State picked up its last regular-season win vs. a non-ACC, Power Five (over Texas Tech) just a week before the Red Raiders earned their most recent such victory at Ole Miss.
The Wolfpack haven’t played a non-conference game against a Power Five since falling to Vanderbilt in the 2012 Music City Bowl. Their last regular-season game came earlier that same year, when they lost to Tennessee in the opener in Atlanta.
The last win over a current Power Five was in 2011 vs. Louisville in the Belk Bowl.
Regular-season losses in the streak consist of South Carolina (2008 and 2009), Louisville (2007) and Ohio State (2003 and 2004). With only four such regular-season games in ten seasons, NC State hasn’t given itself many opportunities to break the streak.
Most Recent Win: Dec. 1, 2001, 41-38 vs. BYU
Next Power Five, Non-Conference Game: Oct. 15, 2016, at BYU
Mississippi State’s most recent, non-SEC, Power Five foe in the regular season came in 2013 when it fell 21-3 to No. 13 Oklahoma State in the season opener in Houston.
The Bulldogs’ last win of any kind vs. a Power Five, non-conference foe came in the 2011 Music City Bowl, a 23-17 win over Wake Forest.
MSU is another program that hasn’t given itself much of a chance to beat big-time, non-SEC opponents in the regular-season, other than the ’13 meeting with Oklahoma State action has been limited to: Georgia Tech (2008 and 2009), West Virginia (2006 and 2007) and Oregon (2002 and 2003).
BYU was still a Mountain West member when the Bulldogs beat them in 2001, making their most recent win over a team that was in a Power Five league when the two met stretch back to 1999, when it beat Oklahoma State on Sept. 18.
Amy Daughters is a contributor to FBSchedules.com.