How Close Are the Michigan Wolverines From 1,000th All-Time Win?
Final Update: This article was originally written when the Michigan Wolverines had 998 wins. Michigan has since won its 1,000th game with a 31-24 win over the Maryland Terrapins on November 18, 2023. The Wolverines are the first team at any level of collegiate football to achieve the milestone.
Update: With a 24-15 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions on November 11, 2023, the Wolverines now have 999 wins all-time.
The original article continues below.
The Michigan Wolverines are taking up news headlines for plenty of reasons in 2023, and not all of them are good. However, in the midst of the drama surrounding the program this year, the Wolverines are knocking on the door of college football history.
Sure, the team is currently undefeated and on the right track to contend for the College Football Playoff National Championship this year, and while a championship in Ann Arbor would break the three-way tie in second place for most national championships, that's not the only thing Wolverine fans can look forward to.
It's common knowledge for college football fans that the Michigan Wolverines have the most wins in the history of the sport. It's not particularly close, as Michigan has 36 more wins than the next team, Ohio State with Alabama trailing behind the Buckeyes by just one game.
But just how close are the Wolverines to their unprecedented 1,000th win as we head into the final month of the 2023 college football season? Dangerously close. As of this writing, the Wolverines have 998 wins in the history of the program.
There is a real shot the program can get its 1,000th win before Thanksgiving. Michigan takes on No. 9 Penn State on November 11. A big win over the conference rival Nittany Lions on the road would give the Maize & Blue their 999th win of all time. The following week, Michigan goes back on the road to face the Maryland Terrapins. With back-to-back wins, Michigan can earn its 1,000th win on November 18, 2023.
This is the most likely scenario given Michigan's play and that of their two upcoming opponents in the coming weeks. However, should things go a bit sideways, another option does come into play.
While a loss would certainly put a damper on things, Michigan could theoretically afford one against Penn State. Of course, the reason to bring that up would be the storyline that would then most likely occur when Michigan hosts Ohio State on the weekend of Thanksgiving. In that scenario, Michigan could be vying for its 1,000th win against its most hated rival in front of a home crowd.
Of course, losing both games to Penn State and Ohio State would have Michigan looking for its 1,000th win in a bowl game outside of the College Football Playoff. That would certainly be bittersweet.
All the same, claiming that 1,000th win during the regular season would serve as a morale boost for the Wolverines as they head into their toughest stretch of games in the post-season.
The 1,000th win milestone is an impressive one. After all, Michigan played its first football game back on May 30, 1879, against Racine College from Wisconsin.
While Michigan does have the most wins, the Wolverines do not have the best winning percentage. That honor goes to the rival Buckeyes, as Ohio State has a winning percentage of .734 with an overall record of 962-331-53. Michigan is actually in third place in this category, just a fraction of a percentage behind the Alabama Crimson Tide with a winning percentage of .733 and an all-time record of 998-353-36.
Michigan Wolverines' All-Time Record Against Each Big Ten Team
Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison
Michigan's All-Time Passing Leaders
Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison