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Fun with numbers: Where does PSU rank all-time in college football wins?

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Kerry Collins

As we get closer to the start of college football season, let’s take a look at the programs that have won the most games all time, and where Penn State ranks among that group.

Also, to show just how strong PSU’s schedule is — and always will be in the Big Ten — we take a look at where some of the conference teams rank in wins.

Here’s the top 10 winningest programs in history, including all divisions. Penn State’s record against certain opponents are in parenthesis):

1: Michigan – 964 (10-14)

2: Ohio State – 931 (14-21)

OK, let’s stop right there. Both of those teams are in Penn State’s division, the Big Ten East, which tells you just how big of a challenge the Nittany Lions face.

3: Alabama – 929 (5-10)

4: Texas – 923 (3-2)

5: Notre Dame – 918 (9-9-1)

6: Oklahoma – 917 (0-2)

7: Yale – 916 (0-7)

8: Nebraska – 905 (8-10)

9: Penn State – 902

10: Harvard – 879 (0-0)

Penn State has gone 49-75-1 all-time against the top 10 winningest teams. The Lions have a losing record against every team they’ve played except Texas.

How many of you knew Yale had more wins than both Penn State and Nebraska? And that Harvard also ranks in the top 10? Yale actually claims 27 national championships, while Harvard claims 12. Neither competes in FBS, though.

11: Penn – 861

12: Tennessee – 857

13: South Carolina – 852

14: Princeton – 840

15: Georgia – 839

16: LSU – 817

17: Mount Union – 809

18: Auburn – 782

19: Wittenberg – 780

20: Clemson – 768

That’s the top 20. Penn State will play three of those teams this season — (1) Michigan, (2) Ohio State and (18) Auburn.

Here’s where some other notable teams rank in the top 100, including PSU rivals and Big Ten teams. Again, with PSU’s record against each team in parenthesis.

21: West Virginia – 761 (48-9-2)

29: Pitt – 738 (53-43-4)

T-30: Syracuse – 725 (43-23-5)

T-33: Wisconsin – 719 (10-9)

T-37: Michigan State – 710 (17-17-1)

38: Minnesota – 709 (9-6)

56: Iowa – 665 (17-13)

62: Rutgers – 655 (29-2)

63: Maryland – 654 (40-3-1)

69: Miami – 644 (7-6)

87: Purdue – 620 (15-3-1)

T-96: Illinois – 614 (20-5-0)

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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