College Football: 10 All-Time Winningest Programs

Notre Dame and Oklahoma both recorded their 900th wins on the same day

Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma joined an elite club when they won their 900th game during the 2019 season. The three schools are among the winningest FBS programs in college football history. Here are the top 10 (totals as of Jan. 5).

 

10. Tennessee

Wins: 846

Winning Percentage: .674

First Season: 1891

The last 10 years have not been kind to Tennessee's program, but that is the longest period of futility in its history.

 

9. USC

Wins: 847

Winning Percentage: .698

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.

 

8. Penn State

Wins: 898

Winning Percentage: .689

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.

 

7. Nebraska

Wins: 902

Winning Percentage: .690

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.

 

5. (tie) Notre Dame

Wins: 908

Winning Percentage: .727

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.

 

5. (tie) Oklahoma

Wins: 908

Winning Percentage: .726

First Season: 1895

Three head coaches are responsible for more than half (492) of Oklahoma's victories: Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, and Bob Stoops.

 

 

 

3. (tie) Alabama

Wins: 916

Winning Percentage: .727

First Season: 1892

Alabama has gone 112-12 over the last nine seasons. If the Crimson Tide keeps playing like this, they will continue to move up this list.

 

3. (tie) Texas

Wins: 916

Winning Percentage: .704

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.

 

2. Ohio State

Wins: 924

Winning Percentage: .729

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, 30 conference titles, and seven national championships.

 

1. Michigan

Wins: 962

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 two losing seasons in the last 50 years and their .729 win percentage is tied for best on this list.

 

— 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.

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