How hard is it to win on the road in college football? Well, the longest active FBS road winning streak is in the single digits, while the longest active home winning streak entering the '21 campaign was 28 games.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that among the five FBS programs with the longest active road winning streaks entering the season, three made the College Football Playoff last season.
Here are the longest active road winning streaks in the FBS, through Week 3 of the 2021 season.
1. Ohio State
Streak: 10 games
Last loss: Oct. 20, 2018 at Purdue (49-20)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 2 at Rutgers
Reigning national runner-up Ohio State went undefeated on the road in the 2020 (2-0) and 2019 seasons (5-0), and the Buckeyes have five road games on their 2021 schedule. They boast the longest active road winning streak in the country and after defeating Minnesota in their season opener, their road winning streak has reached double digits.
Ohio State's last road loss was nearly three years ago at Purdue, which kept the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff, but since then, they've won ten consecutive road games by an average of 28.3 points, including wins over No. 18 Penn State in 2020 and No. 13 Michigan in 2019.
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T-2. Notre Dame
Streak: Seven games
Last loss: Oct. 26, 2019 at Michigan (45-14)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 9 at Virginia Tech
During its lone season as an ACC member, Notre Dame played four road games in 2020, defeating Pittsburgh (45-3), Georgia Tech (31-13), Boston College (45-31) and No. 19 North Carolina (31-17), which helped the Fighting Irish appear in the ACC Championship and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame's schedule is never easy, given its annual series with Navy, USC and Stanford, games against ACC opponents and frequent Big Ten foes. But the Fighting Irish's 2021 schedule arguably features games in which its strongest opponents come to South Bend – Cincinnati, USC and North Carolina – and they play Wisconsin at a neutral site.
Their road slate includes games at Florida State, which they defeated 41-38, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Stanford.
T-2. Southern California
Streak: Seven games
Last loss: Oct. 12, 2019 at Notre Dame (30-27)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 2 at Colorado
Southern California trailed Washington State 14-0 in Pullman in Week 3 before the Trojans rattled off 45 consecutive points to end the game and win by 31. While USC struggled to run the ball, finishing with just 48 yards, USC threw for 399 yards in the win.
USC played just six games last season but the Trojans went 5-1, including three road wins — Arizona, Utah and UCLA. They also won their last three road games from the 2019 season — Colorado, Arizona State and California.
During its current road winning streak, USC has pulled off a series of close wins. It defeated Colorado and Arizona by four points, and Arizona State and UCLA by five.
USC will face five road games in the 2021 season and you can make the case that the three toughest road games come in a four-week span in the heart of the season — at Notre Dame (Oct. 23), at Arizona State (Nov. 6) and at California (Nov. 13). The Trojans' last road loss was at Notre Dame, ironically, in October 2019, amid a season in which they also endured road defeats at BYU and Washington.
Streak: Six games
Last loss: Nov. 30, 2019 at No. 15 Auburn (48-45)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 9 at Texas A&M
Top-ranked Alabama survived a scare in Week 3 as the Crimson Tide built a 21-3 lead over No. 11 Florida but the Gators stormed back to cut the deficit to two points after Dameon Pierce's touchdown run with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Florida went for the two-point conversion to tie the game but Alabama prevented the conversion and left Gainesville with the win.
As part of its 13-0, national championship season in the 2020 campaign, Alabama went 5-0 on the road, defeating Missouri (38-19), Ole Miss (63-48), Tennessee (48-17), LSU (55-17) and Arkansas (52-3) by an average of 30.4 points. Each win was by a margin of at least 15 points.
The Crimson Tide's last road loss came to rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl, when then-backup quarterback Mac Jones got the start in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama fell by three points. If the Crimson Tide had won, its current road winning streak could be 13 games. Alabama's next-most recent road loss was also against Auburn, in its 2017 regular-season finale, when the Tigers won the SEC West.
T-4. Coastal Carolina
Streak: Six games
Last loss: Nov. 23, 2019 at UL Monroe (45-42)
Next road game: Oct. 7 at Arkansas State
Coastal Carolina survived a road game at Buffalo, which was coming off of a 6-1 season in 2020 in which it went undefeated in the regular season. The Bulls, however, are in the first year of head coach Maurice Linguist, who replaced Lance Leipold, who's now at Kansas, and they stayed within striking distance of the Chanticleers, who won 28-25.
After going 5-7 (2-6 Sun Belt) in the 2019 season, Coastal Carolina was one of the darlings of the 2020 season as the Chanticleers went 11-0 (8-0 Sun Belt) in the regular season, with their only loss all season coming by Liberty to three points in the Cure Bowl. Coastal Carolina went 5-0 on the road last season, starting with a double-digit win at Kansas and a three-point win over No. 21 Louisiana.
Streak: Four games
Last loss: Oct. 24, 2020 at Purdue (24-20)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 1 at Maryland
The Hawkeyes dispatched rival, No. 9 Iowa State, in the Cy-Hawk rivalry 27-17 in Week 2 to extend their winning streak to eight games overall and their road winning streak to four games. Iowa picked off Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy three times and Iowa's Jack Campbell scored a touchdown on a fumble return, as the Hawkeyes' defense this season has forced seven turnovers and scored three touchdowns through two games.
T-6. Texas A&M
Streak: Four games
Last loss: Oct. 3, 2020 at Alabama (52-24)
Next road game: Saturday, Oct. 16 at Missouri
Texas A&M's last road loss was a costly one, or at least the margin of defeat was to the Aggies. They lost to then-No. 2 Alabama by 28 points last October and it was their only loss all season, but it was enough to keep Texas A&M outside of the College Football Playoff field.
Since that loss, the Aggies have beaten Mississippi State, South Carolina, Auburn and Tennessee on the road, with all of those wins coming by more than a touchdown.