EXAMINING NOTRE DAME'S RECORD


Notre Dame fans like to gloat that Notre Dame has the best record in the history of college football and the best winning percentage. Technically, that isn't even true.

And if one doesn't ignore the context of Notre Dame's victories, it isn't even close to being true:

Rank College PCT W L T
1 Nebraska 0.806 299 71 2
2 Florida State 0.789 286 75 4
3 Miami-Florida 0.764 272 84 0
4 Michigan 0.758 274 86 5
5 Ohio State 0.741 267 91 7
6 Oklahoma 0.734 262 93 6
7 Penn State 0.723 260 99 2
8 Georgia 0.708 251 102 6
9 Brigham Young 0.703 264 111 2
10 Tennessee 0.702 250 104 8
11 Texas 0.699 249 106 5
12 Florida 0.693 248 108 6
13 Alabama 0.692 251 111 2
14 Southern Cal 0.691 247 108 8
15 Boise State 0.688 100 45 1
16 Auburn 0.678 237 111 6
17 Notre Dame 0.678 240 113 4



Notre Dame's record since unlimited substitution was legalized for good (1965)

Rank College PCT W L T
1 Nebraska 0.808 400 93 5
2 Michigan 0.758 362 113 8
3 Ohio State 0.757 357 112 8
4 Penn State 0.745 359 122 3
5 Oklahoma 0.737 352 123 8
6 Alabama 0.724 353 133 5
7 Tennessee 0.719 345 131 13
8 Texas 0.717 342 133 6
9 Southern Cal 0.716 341 131 15
10 Florida State 0.715 343 134 8
11 Notre Dame 0.713 334 132 8

Notre Dame's record since unlimited substitution was first allowed (1941)

Rank College PCT W L T
1 Oklahoma 0.747 538 177 16
2 Ohio State 0.742 506 169 21
3 Penn State 0.733 514 184 11
4 Michigan 0.730 506 182 16
5 Texas 0.723 523 196 13
6 Notre Dame 0.711 496 196 18

Notre Dame's record since the advent of the forward pass (1906)

Rank College PCT W L T
1 Notre Dame 0.749 742 238 34
2 Michigan 0.730 696 248 31
3 Ohio State 0.729 694 245 42
4 Boise State 0.726 171 64 2
5 Alabama 0.724 739 269 41
6 Washington & Jefferson 0.714 188 69 21
7 Oklahoma 0.714 719 274 48
8 Texas 0.712 731 287 28
9 Tennessee 0.708 715 281 47
10 Southern Cal 0.705 692 276 49
11 Nebraska 0.703 707 288 35
12 Penn State 0.701 691 285 35
13 Yale 0.677 400 181 36
14 Dartmouth 0.677 413 190 27
15 Florida State 0.676 436 205 17
16 Georgia 0.654 658 336 49
17 Miami-Ohio 0.651 607 316 40
18 Princeton 0.648 365 191 33
19 Miami-Florida 0.640 525 291 19
20 Harvard 0.640 376 204 34
21 Louisiana State 0.635 632 354 47
22 Washington 0.631 605 345 40
23 Santa Clara 0.630 206 116 24
24 Auburn 0.629 620 358 41
25 Georgetown 0.625 212 123 22

Perhaps Notre Dame can take pride in being dominant when Washington & Jefferson or the Ivy League schools were dominant, even besting such gridiron powerhouses like Santa Clara and Georgetown.

Let us check out Notre Dame's schedule in 1919:
1919-Notre Dame (Independent)
10/4 vs. Kalamazoo (non-IA) W 14 0
10/11 vs. Mount Union (non-IA) W 60 7
10/18 @ Nebraska (3-3-2) W 14 9
10/25 vs. Western Michigan (non-IA) W 53 0
11/1 vs. Indiana (3-4) W 16 3
11/8 @ Army (6-3) W 12 9
11/15 vs. Michigan State (non-IA) W 13 0
11/22 @ Purdue (2-4-1) W 33 13
11/27 @ Morningside (non-IA) W 14 6
  9-0-0   229 47

Wow. Kalamazoo, Mount Union and Morningside were juggernauts that year. Nice schedule, Knute!

If you can personally remember when the Czar was in power and think Kalamazoo is a great football team, then you may as well keep believing that Notre Dame is great, because we can be accomodating of senility. If you were born after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, face facts: Notre Dame has a decent record, but it isn't better than better programs like Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Alabama, etc..

Punt, goddamnit!