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Andy Wittry | | September 12, 2021

College football's 9 winningest teams

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Here are the nine schools with the most wins in college football history, using the NCAA's official win-loss records.

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Note: Schools needed at least 25 years in the top division of football, which may have predated the separation of teams into the FBS and FCS levels, to qualify for this list. That explains the inclusion of one school on this list, whose presence may come as a surprise to many.

* This has been updated through Sept. 12, 2021

  Penn State won at least 10 games in consecutive seasons for just the third time since joining the Big Ten.
9. Penn State

All-time record: 904-398-41

First season: 1887

Win percentage: .688

Penn State has improved from back-to-back seven-win seasons in 2014 and 2015 to consecutive 11-win seasons in 2016 and 2017, when the Nittany Lions finished inside the top 10 of the AP poll. That stretch was just the third two-year span that Penn State won at least 10 games in consecutive years since joining the Big Ten. After winning nine games in 2018, the Nittany Lions finished 11-2 with a Cotton Bowl victory in 2019. They took a step back in 2020, finishing 4-5.

USA Today Sports Images Nebraska football

8. Nebraska

All-time record: 907-400-41

Win percentage: .688

First season: 1890 

Nebraska is trying to recapture the success it had in the 1970s through the '90s, when the Huskers won five national championships and produced a pair of Heisman Trophy winners. With the hiring of former national championship-winning quarterback Scott Frost as head coach, Nebraska appears to be on the right track. Frost led UCF to a 13-0 record in 2017. The Huskers went only 4-8 in 2018, 5-7 in 2019 and 3-5 in 2020.

  Yale won the Ivy League last season with a 6-1 conference record.

7. Yale

All-time record: 917-380-55

Win percentage: .698

First season: 1872

Yale played its first football game at least seven years before every other school on this list. The Bulldogs joined the Ivy League in 1956 and the Ivy League moved to Division I-AA in 1982. Yale currently plays at the FCS level and won the Ivy League in 2019.

  Oklahoma football Oklahoma has made the College Football Playoff in three of the last four years.

6. Oklahoma

All-time record: 919-329-53

Win percentage: .727

First season: 1895

Oklahoma has averaged around 11 wins per season since 2000 and the Sooners have made four College Football Playoffs, reaffirming their status not just as a historically great program but one of the best this century. 

  Notre Dame has averaged more than 8.5 wins per season under coach Brian Kelly.

5. Notre Dame

All-time record: 921-328-42

Win percentage: .730

First season: 1887

Notre Dame sits just behind Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan for the fourth highest winning percentage in college football history, winning 73 percent of its games. The Irish have won eight national championships since the Associated Press began certifying the national champion in 1936.

  Texas won at least 10 games every year from 2001 to 2009.

4. Texas

All-time record: 924-378-34

Win percentage: .704

First season: 1893

The Longhorns have experienced a downturn recently, but from 2000-09, Texas averaged 11 wins per season and peaked in the top five of the AP poll every season. In 2020, the Longhorns finished 7-3 with a Alamo Bowl win.

  Ohio State football Ohio State has averaged more than 12 wins per season since the 2011 season.
3. Ohio State

All-time record: 930-328-53

Win percentage: .730

First season: 1890

The winners of the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014, the Buckeyes have mostly been national title contenders year in and year out since the mid-90s. Since 1995, Ohio State has finished in the top six of the AP poll 15 times with two national championships and two runner-up finishes. In the 2020 season, the Buckeyes finished as the runner-up in the CFP.

  Alabama has won five national championships in the last nine years.

2. Alabama

All-time record: 931-331-43

Win percentage: .730

First season: 1892

Alabama has now won six national championships under Nick Saban, with the most recent coming in the 2020 season. Alabama made the first five College Football Playoff fields before missing out in 2019.

  Michigan is the winningest program in the history of college football.
1. Michigan

All-time record: 966-350-36

Win percentage: .728

First season: 1879

The 11-time national champion Wolverines are still searching for their first Big Ten title since 2004. The Wolverines hope to end the recent struggles against Ohio State and compete for a national title.

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