The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats romped through DII football from 2015 well into the 2017 season, when they reeled off back-to-back 15-0 seasons. Despite winning 38 games in a row, Northwest Missouri State still fell just short of Grand Valley State's all-time DII record.
Let’s take a look at the five longest winning streaks amongst active DII football programs.
40 — Grand Valley State (2005-07)
The Lakers opened the new century in dominant fashion, finishing as national runners-up to North Dakota in 2001 before Brian Kelly took them to back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. But it was Chuck Martin’s Lakers that made history, going 13-0 in 2005, 15-0 in 2006 and going 12-0 in 2007 before falling to Northwest Missouri State in the semifinals of the DII football tournament. That stands as the current mark and there is no program even close to sniffing that record right now.
38 — Northwest Missouri State (2015-17)
No DII football list of records is complete without mention of the Bearcats. The all-time leader in DII football championships and national runners-up, Northwest Missouri State is the only team to appear on this list twice. DII football coaching legend Mel Tjeersdma led the Bearcats to 24-straight wins from 1999-2000, but it was head coach Adam Dorrell that had Northwest Missouri State looking unbeatable for the better part of three years. Northwest Missouri State went 15-0 in both 2015 and 2016 before losing to long-time rival Pittsburg State in Week 9 of the 2017 season.
34 — Hillsdale (1954-57)
The Chargers won the MIAA every year from 1954-60, with undefeated championships in 1955, 1956 and 1957. After losing in Week 2 of the 1954 season to Eastern, the Chargers went 34-straight weeks with nary a loss before falling in the 1957 season finale. Hillsdale lost that game, and its then-record winning streak by one point.
30 — Bentley (1993-95)
The Falcons took the DII football world by storm when it reclassified to the Division in 1993. Bentley went undefeated in 1993, 1994, and nine games into the 1995 season before finally losing to a DII program, falling 39-36 on Nov. 11 to Stonehill. Unfortunately, the Falcons were ineligible for the playoffs as a transitioning team or else there may be a few DII football championships in Waltham, Massachusetts.
29 — Texas A&M-Commerce (1951-53)
The Lions — then East Texas State — were 1-2 in the 1951 season before defeating Lamar 47-7 on Oct. 13. They wouldn’t lose again for two seasons, and actually didn’t even lose a game in the 1953 season either. The Lions' season came to an end in Orlando, Florida where they tied Arkansas State in the 1954 Tangerine Bowl on New Year’s Day, snapping their winning streak. They lost to Abilene Christian in Week 1 of the 1954 season officially ending the unbeaten run.
The longest active DII football winning streak
Valdosta State closed out 2017 with a 52-0 trouncing of Shorter and hasn’t lost since, winners of 17 in a row after a perfect 2-0 start to the 2019 season. The Blazers went undefeated last season en route to their fourth DII football championship. They could crack the top 17 longest winning streaks if they stay undefeated through nine games, needing a win on Nov. 9 — nearly two years to the day of the first win — against West Florida. It will be no easy task in a Gulf South Conference that sent four teams to the DII football championship tournament last year.
Here are the DII football teams with the longest winning streaks of all-time.
|40||Grand Valley State||2005-07|
|38||Northwest Missouri State||2015-17|
|31||Morgan State %||1965-68|
|31||Missouri Valley *||1946-48|
|25||San Diego State %||1965-67|
|25||Peru State *||1951-54|
|24||Northwest Missouri State||1999-00|
|24||North Dakota State %||1964-66|
|24||Wesleyan (CT) +||1945-48|
% = Now a Division I institution; + = Now a DIII institution; * = Now an NAIA institution.