15 college football programs with the most all-time wins
Earlier this week, we ranked all 14 SEC teams on the basis of all-time football accomplishments.
As that series culminated in a top three of Alabama, Tennessee and LSU, we wondered how the SEC compares to the rest of the country in all-time wins.
Keep in mind not all things are created equal. For example, Alabama has a better winning percentage than Yale, Texas and Nebraska, but all three of those schools played more games in the early days of the sport and therefore claim more all-time wins.
Here’s the Top 15, as well as some other SEC notables.
1. Michigan: 915 (.729)
2. Yale: 884 (.701)
3. Notre Dame: 882 (.732)
4. Texas: 881 (.712)
5. Nebraska: 874 (.712)
6. Ohio State: 863 (.720)*
T7. Alabama: 850 (.716)*
T7. Oklahoma: 850 (.718)
9. Penn State: 849 (.687)
10. Harvard: 848 (.681)
11. Penn: 830 (.629)
12. Tennessee: 811 (.680)
13. Southern California: 805 (.702)*
14. Princeton: 804 (.662)
15. Georgia: 777 (.648)
16. LSU: 761 (.649)
19. Auburn: 734 (.630)
23. Texas A&M: 709 (.602)
T28. Arkansas: 691 (.591)
T28. Florida: 691 (.629)
47. Missouri: 653 (.547)
50. Ole Miss: 645 (.561)
*Does not include wins vacated by NCAA sanctions.
Four of the Ivy League schools rank ahead of Georgia and LSU, a sign of just how dominant Yale, Harvard, Penn and Princeton were in the sport’s initial years.
Many of our younger readers may not remember a time when the SEC wasn’t the best college football conference, including the now-famous seven-year national championship streak that ended after the 2013 season. But only one SEC team even reaches the Top 10 in terms of all-time wins (Alabama), while Tennessee, the second-best SEC team, sits 12th.
However, the other non-Ivy League names in the Top 15 are national giants: Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State are the only non-SEC power-conference teams with more all-time wins than the Vols, Georgia Bulldogs and LSU Tigers.
In that context, the SEC looks pretty good, especially considering most SEC teams don’t have quite as long of a history as the other programs high on this list.
Interestingly, the Sooners (and coach Bob Stoops), Tide (and coach Nick Saban) and Nittany Lions (and coach James Franklin) enter this season within one win. The team with the best record likely will claim solo seventh place.
Notre Dame, No. 3 all-time, and Texas, No. 4 all-time, also play this season.
— LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) June 26, 2015
Are you surprised by any of the teams on this list? Is the SEC better or worse than you’d expect compared to the other major programs around the country?