The COVID-19 pandemic had already postponed fall sports competition at McNeese when the Lake Charles, Louisiana, university absorbed a 1-2 punch of hurricanes in just over a six-week span – Laura on Aug. 27 followed by Delta on Oct. 9.
McNeese’ resiliency has been on display ever since, with the school’s estimated $77 million of repairs well underway on campus, including at Cowboy Stadium, home to a highly successful Southland Conference football program.
Spring semester classes are planned on campus, and the return to normalcy includes athletic competition. The Cowboys have a seven-game football schedule for coach Frank Wilson’s first season, beginning in mid-February.
Normalcy also means McNeese victories because the Cowboys’ 15 straight winning seasons combine for the longest active streak in the FCS. They went 7-5 in 2019 and took over the top spot when Jacksonville State finished 6-6, ending a run of 16 straight winning seasons.
Here are FCS schools that currently have the most consecutive winning seasons (seven or more):
15 – McNeese (since 2005)
The Cowboys are 112-57 (.663) over the span, including undefeated regular seasons in 2007 (11-0) and 2015 (10-0). A 4-7 mark in 2004 is an outlier because their winning seasons extend to 22 of the last 23 years.
13 – Eastern Washington (2007)
The Eagles’ 2010 FCS championship highlights the 120-48 (.714) span. The success has been built off the FCS’ No. 1 passing attack (320.8 ypg) and No. 2 scoring offense (36.7) over the 13 seasons.
10 – North Dakota State (2010) and Sam Houston State (2010)
NDSU (137-13, .913) and Sam Houston (99-37, .728) had the most wins in the FCS during the 2010s. The Bison beat SHSU in the 2011 and ’12 national championship games to kickstart an eight-title decade.
9 – San Diego (2011)
Included in the Toreros’ 81-24 (.771) run is a 60-4 record against Pioneer Football League opponents. In fact, they’re riding a 37-game league winning streak, which is two shy of the FCS record.
8 – North Carolina A&T (2012) and South Dakota State (2012)
N.C. A&T had eight straight losing seasons prior to 2012, but is 73-21 (.777) since then. South Dakota State, 73-33 (.689) during its run, is the only FCS team to beat North Dakota State twice since 2011.
7 – Montana (2013) and Southern (2013)
Montana’s most-recent win in its 56-31 (.644) stretch opened an FCS-record 24th playoff appearance in 2019. Southern is 54-29 (.651) during its run despite having a 1-9 mark against Alcorn State.