Rice football has been to 12 bowl games in school history, most recently earning a bid to the 2014 Hawaii Bowl where they defeated Fresno State.
Rice is 7-5 in the postseason, dating back to their first bowl game ever, a victory over Colorado in the Cotton Bowl in 1937. That win was the first of three Cotton Bowl victories for the Owls and the start of a winning postseason tradition for the Owls.
It wasn’t that long ago that trips to the postseason were an annual affair for Rice Football. Former head coach David Baliff took the Owls bowling three consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2014, the longest streak of consecutive bowl appearances in school history.
Baliff finished 3-1 in Bowl games, the best postseason mark outside of Jimmy Kitts who led the Owls from 1934 to 1939. Baliff and Kitts join Rice legend Jess Neely and one-year head man Todd Graham as the four men who have ever led Rice to a bowl game.
|1937||SWC||6||3||2||18||Jimmy Kitts (6-3-2)||Cotton Bowl||W|
|1946||SWC||9||2||0||10||Jess Neely (9-2)||Orange Bowl||W|
|1949||SWC||10||1||0||5||Jess Neely (10-1)||Cotton Bowl||W|
|1953||SWC||9||2||0||6||Jess Neely (9-2)||Cotton Bowl||W|
|1957||SWC||7||4||0||8||Jess Neely (7-4)||Cotton Bowl||L|
|1960||SWC||7||4||0||Jess Neely (7-4)||Sugar Bowl||L|
|1961||SWC||7||4||0||17||Jess Neely (7-4)||Bluebonnet Bowl||L|
|2006||CUSA||7||6||0||Todd Graham (7-6)||New Orleans Bowl||L|
|2008||CUSA||10||3||0||David Bailiff (10-3)||Texas Bowl||W|
|2012||CUSA||7||6||0||David Bailiff (7-6)||Armed Forces Bowl||W|
|2013||CUSA||10||4||0||David Bailiff (10-4)||Liberty Bowl||L|
|2014||CUSA||8||5||0||David Bailiff (8-5)||Hawaii Bowl||W|
Rice’s heyday might have come several decades ago, but the Owls have been competitive for the last two decades or so. In fact, Ken Hatfield, who led the Owls from 1994 to 2005, had three seasons of seven or more wins, including an 8-4 finish in the WAC in 2001. Had there been enough bowl games in the late 90’s and early 2000’s Hatfield could have thrown his name onto the list of postseason coaches.
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