College Football’s Grand Slam

by Travis Normand

December 23, 2020

Notre Dame has a chance to win another grand slam this 2020-2021 season!

There might be a better name for this, and if I think of one, I will update this post. On the other hand, if you think of one you would like to share, please let me know by posting in the comments below.

Of all the bowl games, there are four that have always been considered as the biggest and best. Those four bowls are the: (1) Rose Bowl; (2) Cotton Bowl; (3) Sugar bowl; and (4) Orange Bowl. Which got me wondering, how many college football programs have won all four of these bowl games?

I did the research and found the answer; and the following is a break-down of those programs that have pulled off what I am calling the “College Football Grand Slam!”

There are nine (9) programs that have won all four of the major bowl games, and have thus won a “College Football Grand Slam.” Those nine programs are: Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas.


SchoolNumber of Grand Slams Won
Georgia Tech1
Notre Dame1
Ohio State1
Penn State1

The following is a break down of each school’s grand slam win. The year in BOLD is the year in which a particular grand slam was won.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Alabama’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/1962 in the Sugar Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Georgia’s first Grand Slam was completed on 12/31/1966 in the Cotton Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Georgia Tech’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/1955 in the Cotton Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Miami’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/3/2002 in the Rose Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Notre Dame’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/1975 in the Orange Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Ohio State’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/1999 by beating Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Oklahoma’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/2003 in the Rose Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Penn State’s first Grand Slam was completed on 1/2/1995 in the Rose Bowl.


Gand SlamRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Texas’ first Grand Slam was completed on 1/1/2005 in the Rose Bowl.

Notes regarding the grand slams represented above:

Note 1: The Rose Bowl is the most elusive bowl for any team not in the Big 10 or Pac-12. However, only two Big 10 schools (Ohio State and Penn State) have won a grand slam, while no Pac-12 schools have been able to do it.

Note 2: Georgia Tech was the first team to win a grand slam, having won their fourth of all four bowl games on January 1, 1955.

Note 3: Georgia first grand slam was the fastest grand slam won in that Georgia has the shortest amount of time from their first bowl game win (Orange 1/1/1942) to their fourth (Cotton 12/31/1966) (Total time: 24 years and 11 months).

Note 4: Texas’ second grand slam was the longest grand slam won in that Texas had to wait the longest amount of time from their bowl game win (Cotton 1/1/1946) to their fourth (Sugar 1/1/2019) (Total time: 73 years).

Note 5: Alabama’s second grand slam would have come earlier if not for Alabama having lost the Cotton Bowl on 1/1/ 1968 to Texas A&M.


There are several schools that are very close to winning a grand slam. They are close in that they have won three of the four bowl games, and are now just trying to win the fourth and final of the set. Some of these programs have played in that fourth bowl game (and simply failed to win it), while others have never even made it to the fourth bowl game. They are as follows:

SchoolRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
ArkansasNever Played1/1/19651/2/19781/1/1969
AuburnNever Played1/1/20071/1/19381/2/1984
DukeLost Twice1/2/19611/1/19551/1/1945
Florida StateLost Once1/1/19921/1/19931/2/1989
LSUNever Played1/1/19631/1/19441/1/1959
Michigan1/1/1902Never Played1/1/20001/3/2012
MissouriNever Played1/1/20081/2/19611/1/1966
NebraskaLost Twice1/1/19741/1/196412/31/1974
TCU1/1/20111/1/1937Lost Once1/1/1936
TennesseeLost Twice1/1/19511/2/19391/1/1943
USC1/1/19231/2/19951/2/2003Never Played
Wisconsin1/1/19941/2/201712/30/2017Never Played

Notes on those programs that are one bowl game win away from completing a grand slam:

Note 1: Duke has played in the Rose Bowl twice and lost both times. The first loss was on January 2, 1939 to USC. However, more significantly, Duke played in (and lost) the only Rose Bowl game that was NOT played in Pasadena. The 1942 Rose Bowl was played at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina (Duke’s home field) where Duke lost to Oregon State!

Note 2: Florida State lost their only Rose Bowl appearance to Oregon on January 1, 2015. However, Florida State played in the final BCS National Championship game on January 6, 2014 where FSU beat Auburn University. However, while that game was played at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California; it was not the Rose Bowl game (as that was played on January 1, 2014 between Stanford and Michigan State.

Note 3: Ohio State’s first grand slam came in 1999 when they beat Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl. Further, while they don’t have a grand slam yet, LSU’s 1944 Orange Bowl win also came over Texas A&M.

Note 4: Michigan won the 1902 “Rose Bowl,” but at that time it was actually played under the name of “the Tournament East–West football game.” However, it is counted as the first Rose Bowl, and is therefore being used for grand slam purposes.

Note 5: Nebraska has lost two Rose Bowls; one on January 1, 1941 (to Stanford) and again on January 3, 2002 (to Miami). The loss to Miami on January 3, 2002 was when Miami won their first and only grand slam.

Note 6: TCU won the first Cotton Bowl on January 1, 1937 and the second Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1936. However, they lost their one and only Orange Bowl appearance to Georgia on January 1, 1942.

Note 7: Tennessee has lost two Rose Bowls (both to USC). The first was on January 1, 1940 and the second was on January 1, 1945.


Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Florida all have a chance to pick-up a grand slam win this season as these are the teams playing in the Sugar, Rose, Orange, and Cotton.

However, only one of them would complete a grand slam with a bowl victory; and that one is Notre Dame. As you will see below, Notre Dame is only missing a Rose Bowl in order to complete its second grand slam, and is also playing in the Rose Bowl against Alabama (note: the second-ever Rose Bowl to be played away from Pasadena, California).

On the other hand, while it won’t complete a grand slam for them, six of the other teams are playing in the bowl game that they are missing and thus a win will count towards eventually winning their first grand slam. On the other hand, while Ohio State could win another Sugar Bowl, they are missing an Orange Bowl victory in terms of winning their second grand slam.

SchoolRose BowlCotton BowlOrange BowlSugar Bowl
Ohio State1/1/195512/29/20171/4/2011
Notre Dame(Possible)1/2/19781/1/19901/1/1992
Texas A&M1/1/1941(Possible)1/1/1940
North Carolina(Possible)
Notre Dame could complete their second grand slam by winning this year’s Rose Bowl.

Anyway, just a little something extra to watch for while watching the bowl games this season.

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