Teams don't finish a season with zero wins and (historically) zero ties very often -- it has only happened 120 times in 100 seasons. Most of the time, historically weak programs are the ones suffering through this -- Kansas State has done it five times, Kent State four, New Mexico State and Wake Forest three, et cetera. (Western State did it four times in eight years in the 1920s and 1930s, which perhaps suggests why they are no longer a thing.)
But occasionally a historically strong program does the deed. Here are the ten (well, 12) most unexpected winless seasons based on 100-year Est. S&P+ rank.
1. 1955 Alabama (0-10). Alabama ranks first overall in terms of 100-year Est. S&P+ average, but they were simply god-awful in the years leading up to the Bear Bryant hire, going 4-24-2 between 1955-57. Still, Alabama -- Alabama! -- going 0-10 is a bit of a jarring thought.
2. 1973 Florida State (0-11). The 'Noles rank ninth overall thanks to the Bobby Bowden years, but as with Alabama and Bryant, the pre-Bowden years were ... lacking. FSU went 4-29 between 1973-75.
3. 1950 Auburn (0-10). Auburn ranks 15th overall and actually won their first national title just seven years (with the No. 7 team on last year's Top 100 Countdown) after this complete dud of a season.
4T. 1916 Florida (0-5) and 1946 Florida (0-9). Seventeenth overall, Florida has seen quite a few ups and downs, but their biggest down period came throughout the 1930s and 1940s -- the Gators did not finish with a winning record between 1935 and 1951. The 0-9 finish in 1946 was a bit of an outlier -- during the rest of that dry spell, they were virtually guaranteed to win either four or five games.
6. 2008 Washington (0-12). The Huskies come in at 23rd overall on the 100-year list, making their winless 2008 season both confusing and unacceptable. (They also went 1-10 in 2004, but lots of teams win one or two games; going completely winless is a different story.)
7T. 1973 Army (0-10) and 2003 Army (0-13). Army was so good in the middle portion of last century that they still place in the Top 25 overall. Needless to say, in today's college football landscape, their occasional struggles are much less surprising than most of the names on this list.
9. 1968 Wisconsin (0-10). The Badgers rank 31st overall thanks to certain periods of stellar play -- the 1930s, the early-1950s, and most of the last 20 years -- but they were horrid in the 1960s, going 0-19-1 in 1967-68 and 11-45-3 from 1964-1969.
10T. 1961 Illinois (0-9), 1969 Illinois (0-10) and 1997 Illinois (0-11). Illinois ranks 32nd overall, but their down periods have been incredibly down.