The offseason departures, firings, and retirements of some of the biggest names in the sport of college football have shaken up the pecking order in terms of winning percentage at the FBS level. When you look at the list of the 10 winningest coaches in college football, most of the names are who you would expect. Some, however, will surprise you.
To be eligible for this list, the coach must have 10 full seasons of being a head coach at the FBS level.
Winningest Active College Football Coaches (by Percentage)
1. Chris Petersen, Washington — .808
Petersen has been an FBS coach for 13 seasons — eight at Boise State, five at Washington. During that time, he has never had a losing record and won at least 10 games in 11 of those 13 campaigns. When it comes to winning football games consistently, Chris Petersen is the gold standard. His 139-33 record gives him a .808 winning percentage.
2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson — .795
All things considered, Swinney is probably the 1a or 1b of college football coaches right now. From a winning percentage standpoint, however, his .795 number via a 116-30 record places him in the No. 2 slot.
3. Nick Saban, Alabama — .789
Saban has won more games than anyone else on this list, but thanks largely to his time at Michigan State, his winning percentage is third among active FBS coaches. He has a record of 237-63, which works out to a .789 winning percentage.
4. Gary Patterson, TCU — .726
This will be Patterson's 20th season heading up the Horned Frogs program. During that time, he has posted a record of 167-63 — a .726 winning percentage.
5. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame — .702
Yes, we're including the games he was stripped of. Why? Because those wins were not tacked on to the records of the coaches he beat to get them — some of whom are on this list. Kelly has compiled a record of 134-57 at the FBS level, which works out to a .702 winning percentage.
6. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State — .672
Aside from his off-field antics, Gundy has quietly established himself as one of the very best coaches in the game. He boasts a .672 winning percentage via a 121-59 record.
7. Kyle Whittingham, Utah — .663
Whittingham has been on Utah's staff since 1994 and been at the helm of the program since 2005. During his time as head coach of the Utes, he has a 120-61 record, giving him a .663 winning percentage.
8. Butch Davis, Florida International — .649
Davis is a guy who simply wins everywhere he goes. His 96-52 record gives him a .649 winning percentage.
9. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State — .648
Dantonio has done a phenomenal job building a consistent winner in East Lansing. His 125-68 record gives him a .648 winning percentage.
10. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona — .645
The bulk of Sumlin's wins came while he was at the helm at Texas A&M. He has compiled a .645 winning percentage via a 91-50 record.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.