Sam Houston opens defense of its FCS national championship while riding the longest winning streak in Division I, with 20 of the 21 victories having occurred since late February.

The Bearkats, like most FCS programs, delayed their 2020 season from last fall into the spring semester earlier this year due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s meant two schedules in the same calendar, with roughly four or five months spaced in between for various schools.

Sam Houston has set the college football record for wins in a calendar year, while James Madison and South Dakota State also have surpassed the known previous high of 16. SDSU, which lost to Sam Houston in the 2020 season championship game in May, has played the most times, 22, and set to rise again in the playoffs on Saturday.

Most Wins in 2021 (forfeits not included)

20 – Sam Houston      

17 – James Madison and South Dakota State

16 – North Dakota State  

15 – Eastern Washington and Kennesaw State              

14 – ETSU               

13 – Holy Cross, Jackson State, Missouri State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Illinois, UIW and UT Martin 

12 – Davidson, Delaware, Jacksonville State, Mercer and VMI

11 – Alabama A&M, Duquesne, Montana, Morehead State, Murray State, Sacred Heart, San Diego, Tarleton, UC Davis, Villanova and Weber State       

Most Games Played in 2021 (forfeits not included)

22 – South Dakota State     

21 – Southern Illinois 

20 – Jacksonville State, North Dakota State and Sam Houston 

19 – The Citadel, Delaware, Eastern Washington, James Madison, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southeastern Louisiana, Tarleton State, UT Martin and VMI

18 – Davidson, Furman, McNeese, Mercer, Morehead State, Murray State, Nicholls, North Dakota, Presbyterian, Samford, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and UIW