Need help with Michigan question

Submitted by Lil Michigan Man 7 on December 26th, 2011 at 9:36 PM

So I'm doing a project on a Michigan football and I need to know when Michigan became the winningest football team in history, when they passed Notre Dame or Texas or whoever. I have no clue and the only answer I can get from google is Notre Dame 2007, but I feel like thats wrong. Any help would be nice. Thanks in advance.


Wolverine Devotee

December 26th, 2011 at 9:51 PM ^

While I couldn't find that, Here are some records that could help you on your project.


NOTE: Records against conferences are based on recent conference alignment changes. For example, totals for Michigan's games against texas a&m are added to the overall SEC record, totals for games against pitt are added to the ACC record and etc. MWC and C-USA are clumped together because of them competing as a joint league next season.

Totals as of 11/26/11

All-Time Record: 894-310-36
Conference Record: 473-186-18
Divisional Record: 235-86-15
Inter-Divisional Record: 279-111-9
Record vs ACC: 31-9-1
Record vs Big 12: 7-2-1
Record vs Big East: 6-0
Record vs CUSA/MWC: 10-0
Record vs MAC: 30-1
Record vs Pac-12: 48-24-1
Record vs SEC: 23-9-1
Record vs WAC: 2-0
Record vs Non-FBS: 188-43-6
Record vs D1-FCS: 1-1

Against Ranked Teams: 132-121-10
In Season Openers: 107-20-3
In Conference Openers: 81-24-2
In Homecoming Games: 85-28-2
In Night Games: 24-12
In Overtime Games: 6-1
Spring Game Record: 27-26 Blue

Wolverine Devotee

December 27th, 2011 at 12:07 AM ^

It took me hours upon hours searching for that spring game record. Had to e-mail tons of athletic department people, search the actual Bentley Library in Ann Arbor.

Bentley Library's site is really half-assed in terms of updates. Recent team photos missing, results incomplete/inaccurate.

The hockey page has gone to hell in a handbasket. That page must have cobwebs on it it's been so long since someone touched it.

Part of me just wants to tell them give me control of it and it will be perfect by tomorrow.

Wolverine Devotee

December 27th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Ah no big deal. I've been working on an independent project since 2007 about historical stuff about Michigan football like that and I'm just about ready to print and put in my binder.

Anything you can think of I have it. I'm printing all of the pages and putting them in UltraPro pastic sleeves and putting them in a binder which I will update at the end of every season.

I figure it's something I can enjoy and then pass on to my kids someday. I'm starting a similar but less-large hockey project. I'm currently in the process of finishing painting my stairwalls. Here is a design of what the vertical wall looks like (the one that stretches from the celing all the way to the end of the stairwell.)


My name is Wolverine Devotee for a reason.

Picktown GoBlue

December 28th, 2011 at 1:08 AM ^

If I add Divisional and Inter-Divisional Records, I get 514-197-24.  But looking at the Big Ten Media Guide, Michigan had a record of 525-199-23 going into this season against Big Ten teams.  Add this year's record of 6-2-0 and subtract out our record against Chicago (19-7-0) and I come up with a total of 512-194-23.  Any idea for the difference of 2-3-1?

Wettin 3's

December 26th, 2011 at 10:00 PM ^

We could be 31-0 instead of 30-1 against MAC teams...if we didn't lose to Toledo. We could also be 2-0 against FCS teams...if we didn't lose to Appalachian State...last 4 yrs effed us up!


December 26th, 2011 at 10:05 PM ^

People didn't go online and ask complete strangers to do their work for them.
<br>You'll never get ahead in life having others do work for you (unless you believe in the koyasaki method)


December 26th, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

Yeah, I have no idea why anyone would ask a forum of experts on a topic (which is, coincidentally, one small fact, not the project) when the answer wasn't readily available...

If I have a stats question, I go to my stats professor; if I have a Michigan football question, I come here.

Wolverine Devotee

December 26th, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

Another little interesting nugget of information to the OP if you go here.

On October 10 1891 Michigan beat Ann Arbor High School 62-0.

Ann Arbor High School is what we now today know as Pioneer High School.

(For people who don't know it's the high school across the street from Michigan Stadium)

That game was played at Regents Field (Michigan's first stadium). Regents is of course demolished, but it once stood where Schembechler Hall stands today.

Wolverine Devotee

December 27th, 2011 at 12:39 AM ^

FWIW, Michigan played only one more HS. In 1896 against Grand Rapids HS, winning 44-0.

Michigan played a lot of games against schools that are now in Division III. But back then, they were the top teams. Michigan played Albion College almost every year in the Independent days.

Only a handful of the schools that Michigan played in the early days either are Non-NCAA schools, or do not exist anymore.

Fans of state are uneducated on their history. If you ask them who is their winningest head coach is they have no clue. Not only can I name Michigan's (Bo), I can name his winning percentage, record vs rivals, home & road records.


December 26th, 2011 at 10:22 PM ^

This link looks interesting:

They put in a great deal of thought and seem to have Michigan winning the most games for quite some time.  If you are looking at totals, we have had the record a long time.  If you are looking at percentages - then that is a seperate issue. 

Number crunching...sounds like a fun holiday project...


December 27th, 2011 at 2:40 AM ^

From site linked by "cseeman":

Finally, Michigan has held the record for most wins in college football but only for the past decade (2001-2010). Prior to that Yale held that record for 113 consecutive seasons and 115 of the 142 seasons listed in the college football record book. Princeton led for 16 seasons and Rutgers for 7. Princeton, Yale, and Rutgers were often tied during the first 20 years.
How did Michgan pass Yale? Through 1977, Yale had 95 more wins, a better winning percentage (0.76229 to Michigan's 0.73853) and played 108 more games and 5 more seasons than Michigan. In 1978, NCAA split Division I into I-A and I-AA (aka FBS and FCS). Since the split, MIchigan has chipped away at the lead with 0.72153 WL% to Yale's 0.55077, but also, since 1978, has averaged 2.3 games per year (112 total games) more than Yale. Had Yale played as many games as Michigan since the 1978 split and taking into account its lower winning percentage, Yale would still have a 2 win lead. Had Michigan played 112 fewer games (rather than Yale playing more games), the answer would substantially favor the Wolverines.

Wolverine Devotee

December 26th, 2011 at 11:54 PM ^

1/1/2000    Alabama  (Orange Bowl)               W 35-34

10/12/2002  vs Penn State                                     W 27-24

10/30/2004  vs Michigan State                              W 45-37    3OT

10/1/2005  at Michigan State                               W 34-31

10/23/2005  at Iowa                                                 W 23-20

10/3/2009   at Michigan State                                L 20-26

11/6/2010    vs Illinois                                              W 67-65  3OT

snarling wolverine

December 27th, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

If you're talking about winning percentage, ND had it for several decades before we temporarily took it over around 2003 or so, and then grabbed it for good in 2004 (I think).  Our lead remains pretty slim though - the equivalent of 3-4 games in the standings.



December 27th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

We chipped away at Notre Dame's slim lead in winning percentage for many years. Then in 2004, we finally had our chance to overtake them in a head to head game in South Bend.  Unfortunately, we lost 28-20 to a crappy 6-6 ND team.  But after that game, we kept winning and ND kept losing.  A few weeks later, we passed them and have stayed ahead of them ever since.  I remember the stat being announced by Grapentine at Braylonfest during pregame.

Picktown GoBlue

December 27th, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

with greater than 0.700 records as of the end of 2010 (this is compiled from the NCAA statistics publications for the 4 football divisions):

School Years Won Lost Tied Percent Division
Mary Hardin-Baylor 12 109 31 0 0.779 III
Old Dominion 2 17 5 0 0.773 I-FCS
Michigan 131 884 308 36 0.735 I-FBS
Notre Dame 122 845 295 42 0.733 I-FBS
Grand Valley St. 39 311 115 3 0.728 II
Ohio St. 121 831 309 53 0.719 I-FBS
Bentley 22 159 62 1 0.718 II
Texas 118 850 325 33 0.717 I-FBS
Oklahoma 116 811 304 53 0.717 I-FBS
Boise St. (1996) 43 365 145 2 0.715 I-FBS
St. John's (MN) 99 565 225 24 0.709 III
Yale 138 864 342 55 0.707 I-FCS
Alabama# 116 802 319 43 0.707 I-FBS
Grambling 68 515 209 15 0.707 I-FCS
Nebraska 121 837 345 40 0.701 I-FBS
Southern California 118 769 312 54 0.701 I-FBS

If you look up each school's records year by year you could probably compute when exactly the percentage went from ND to Michigan (among D-I teams, or teams with at least 20 years of playing football).  The top 6 teams in terms of number of wins are also in this table, so if you could work that out as well.  As noted above, I think it was Yale that was passed to move up to #1.  If you only want to look at FBS schools, then it may be Texas that was passed but not sure about that. 

You could also check out the NCAA website and see if they have older statistics books in their archives to see how things were in different years.  Check out