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Ask Sports: When was the last winless FBS football season?

Kansas lost to Memphis 55-23 in the Jayhawks’ second game of the season.
Kansas lost to Memphis 55-23 in the Jayhawks’ second game of the season. Kansas City Star

When was the last winless FBS football season? When was the last time KU went winless?

After Saturday’s close-but-no-cigar loss to Texas Tech, the Jayhawks fell to 0-6 on the season, one of five winless teams remaining in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

With games against at least three ranked teams remaining on the schedule, KU will likely be the underdog in its final six games, setting up the possibility of an 0-12 season.

While having a winless team in FBS isn’t completely uncommon – Miami (Ohio) and Georgia State each were winless in 2013 – a winless power conference team is rare.

Since 2000, there have been four power conference teams that lost every game – and three of them were Duke squads. The 2008 Washington Huskies went 0-12 to match the 2006 Blue Devils. The 2000 and ’01 Dukies only lost 11 games each season.

Going winless in a power conference is rare because those teams have a resource advantage over other teams and they have so much control over their nonconference schedule, ensuring multiple home games against usually lesser opponents, including Football Championship Subdivision teams.

That didn’t help KU in David Beaty’s first season as coach, however. South Dakota State, KU’s first opponent, is now ranked No. 7 in FCS, while the Jayhawks’ second loss came to a Memphis team that upset Mississippi on Saturday.

If KU fails to win a game in 2015, it will be the first winless season for the Jayhawks since an 0-10 season in 1954.

The Big 12 has never had a winless member since the conference’s expansion in 1996. Of current members, Iowa State’s 0-10-1 campaign in 1994 is the most recent winless season. That was proceeded by earlier fruitless seasons by Big Eight members Oklahoma State (0-10-1 in 1991) and Kansas State (0-11 in 1988, 0-10-1 in 1987).

Joshua Wood

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