College Football’s Grand Slam (updated post 2020 season)

by Travis Normand

January 4, 2021

Notre Dame was unable to win its second grand slam title as the Irish were defeated by Alabama in the January 1, 2021 Rose Bowl game (played in Arlington, Texas).

However, Alabama (Rose), Oklahoma (Cotton), Ohio State (Sugar), and Texas A&M (Orange) all picked up a bowl victory that counts towards a grand slam title (whether it is their first, next, etc.). See the last table in this post for a full list of teams needing only one more win for a grand slam title.


There are several schools that are very close to winning their first, or next, grand slam (some of these programs already have a grand slam and others are working on their first).

The following is a list of teams that have won three of the four required bowl games, and are now 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.

A “blank” space next to a team (for a given bowl game), indicates that the needed victory/bowl would be at least the teams second grand slam title (as they have won this bowl game before and winning another will result in an additional grand slam).

Teams needing one more bowl victory 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
Notre Dame1/2/19781/1/19901/1/1992
Ohio State1/1/195512/29/20171/4/2011
TCU1/1/20111/1/1937Lost Once1/1/1936
TennesseeLost Twice1/1/19511/2/19391/1/1943
Texas A&MNever Played1/1/19411/2/20211/1/1940
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.

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