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Thursday, April 16, 2015

THE 35-WIN MARGIN: MICHIGAN'S MYTHICAL FOOTBALL "ALL-TIME WINS" RECORD

Michigan considers itself to be the "All-Time Wins Leader" in the history of college football, claiming 915 victories in all. But when you view the record, you can find dozens of so-called "games" that had one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They were played against "teams" that are not college football teams today
  • They were played against "teams" that were not college football teams when they played UM
  • They were played prior to 1906, when the forward pass was legalized
  • They were played prior to 1937, before the NCAA recognized football as a sport


Any reported college football victory by any team
that carries all four of the above attributes is not,
by definition, a college football victory.


For that reason, we reported on the Detroit Athletic Club "games" as an example of the blatant mis-counting that's inherent to the so-called "All-Time Wins" Record. There are many more examples.

Below is the list that UM included in its Game Notes for its last game of the 2014 football season. According to their count, Michigan is "the leader" by 34 games. Therefore, if we can identify 35 games with opponents similar to the Detroit Athletic Club, those wins can be subtracted from the UM total, leaving a different school (Notre Dame, Texas, et al) on top of the list.

FROM MICHIGAN FOOTBALL OFFICIAL GAME NOTES


Michigan has already dropped out of the lead in the winning percentage list, even with dozens of "fake wins" in their total. Should 35 (or more) games be removed from their total, their winning percentage would drop correspondingly, knocking them further down that list.

We will show you at least 35 games that
UM counts in their all-time wins total
that do not qualify as college football victories.


We started with the Detroit Athletic Club, never a college, now a banquet facility. Five down, thirty to go. Stay tuned!




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4 comments:

  1. We need to ensure we do not create the same kind of bias that we find objectionable.

    Before annointing another team as top dog, we need to scrub the records of the oontenders and eliminate similar uncountable games.

    For example:

    Notre Dame on November 7, 1895, logged an 18-2 win over the Illinois Cycling Club (IL). That's just one of many.

    The first 4 wins for Texas in 1893 were matches against the Dallas AC (TX) and the San Antonio Town Team (TX), both played twice in the same year.

    Uncountable games were not uncommon back in the dawn of football. It was difficult to find peer opponents to play.

    That does not mean those games should count, just that all teams vying for the top spot need to have their records come under the same level of scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's totally true, 76. If I had all the time in the world, and a research team, I would direct a re-count of ALL of those records to bring them in line with reality. I would draw several lines at points in history that seem to define relevant counting periods. The earliest I could justify going back would be 1906, with the introduction of the forward pass.

      1937, the inclusion of Football by the NCAA would be another point in time.

      The "post-war" era would also make sense, starting in 1945 or 1950. Certainly that point defines the beginning of MSU, but in the context of the MSU-UM rivalry, the game-sites did not begin to alternate until about 1958, so maybe that's another date.

      Or the creation of "Division Two" in 1978, it would make sense to start counting there.

      But you're right, to just pick the next team in line and call them the leader would be to also count their "slop games". I only do that here as shorthand, and to force the chUMps to defend themselves.

      Delete
    2. I figured I would make the point before someone came along and trashed your whole thesis because you did not address it.

      Delete
    3. Yup, good point. I would welcome someone coming along and attacking my observations because then they would be putting themselves into a position to be accountable. That's all I ask in this silly "all-time wins" garbage is ACCOUNTABILITY. Once that process begins, people have to acknowledge things like what you just pointed out; that many of the oldest programs have a barrel full of insignificant PRE-FOOTBALL activities and events about which they may be exaggerating. In this case, it's another example of how Michigan is "not different", even as they try to magnify their own importance to the top of every list.

      Delete

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