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College Football: 10 All-Time Winningest Programs

College Football: 10 All-Time Winningest Programs

Notre Dame is one of eight FBS programs to win 900 games

Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma joined an elite club when they won their 900th game during the 2019 season and Penn State followed suit in 2020. All four schools are among the winningest FBS programs in college football history. Here are the top 10 (totals as of Nov. 14, 2021).

10. Tennessee

Wins: 854
Winning Percentage: .670
First Season: 1891

The last decade-plus has not been kind to Tennessee's program, but that is the longest period of futility in its history. However, the Volunteers need to be wary because SEC East rival Georgia (849) is nipping on their heels in the win department.

9. USC

Wins: 856
Winning Percentage: .697
First Season: 1888

USC vacated 14 wins between 2004 and '05 because of the Reggie Bush scandal, or it would not be neck and neck with Tennessee on this list.

T-7. Nebraska

Wins: 908
Winning Percentage: .685
First Season: 1890

When you win at least nine games every season from 1969-2001, you can expect to hold a pretty high place on this list.

T-7. Penn State

Wins: 908
Winning Percentage: .687
First Season: 1887

The NCAA vacated 112 of these wins because of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal but restored them in 2015. Had it not, Penn State would be 13th all-time in wins.

6. Oklahoma

Wins: 926
Winning Percentage: .728
First Season: 1895

Three head coaches are responsible for more than half (492) of Oklahoma's victories: Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, and Bob Stoops. And current head coach Lincoln Riley is off to a good start. He went 46-8 with four Big 12 titles in his first four seasons.

T-4. Texas

Wins: 927
Winning Percentage: .702
First Season: 1893

Some may argue that the Longhorns' college football pedigree is overblown, but it is important to note that Texas has only suffered only 16 losing seasons in its 125-plus year history.

T-4. Notre Dame

Wins: 927
Winning Percentage: .730
First Season: 1887

The Irish actually reached 900 wins in 2017 but had to do it again after 21 wins were vacated because of academic misconduct. They achieved the milestone for a "second" time in 2019.

3. Alabama

Wins: 938
Winning Percentage: .731
First Season: 1892

Alabama has gone 127-12 over the last 10 seasons. If the Crimson Tide keeps playing like this, they will continue to move up this list.

2. Ohio State

Wins: 940
Winning Percentage: .732
First Season: 1890

Ohio State won its first Rose Bowl in 1920 and its first national championship in '42, but its success since 1950 has propelled the program to second on this list. During that span, the Buckeyes have won more than 550 games, 31 conference titles, and seven national championships.

1. Michigan

Wins: 973
Winning Percentage: .729
First Season: 1879

The Wolverines were college football's first true powerhouse thanks to Fielding Yost's "point-a-minute" teams in the early 1900s. In the modern era, Michigan has only suffered three losing seasons in the last 50 years, although Wolverine fans probably don't count the 2020 pandemic-shortened campaign (2-4).

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.