The final game between Michigan and Notre Dame for the foreseeable future carries extra significance: The winner will have the best winning percentage in college football history.
When Notre Dame won its bowl game last season and Michigan lost, the Irish jumped ahead of the Wolverines in all-time winning percentage for the first time since 2004. While it’s not something many fans brag about, Notre Dame’s current record of 875-305-42 gives it a .7332 win percentage, just better than Michigan’s .7326 (911-321-36). However, a Michigan win in South Bend on Saturday night would propel the Wolverines ahead by two ten-thousandths of a point. Get those t-shirts printed now!
Given the teams’ remaining games—Michigan may only be an underdog in two, while Notre Dame has one of the toughest schedules in the country—the schools could flip-flop later in the season.
We may look back on Saturday’s game and realize it didn’t determine anything in regards to the best winning percentage. Notre Dame is investigating its football program for potential academic violations. According to the school’s press release last month, “If it determines that the student-athletes would have been ineligible during past competition, Notre Dame will voluntarily vacate any victories in which they participated.” In other words, Notre Dame’s nine wins from last season could be wiped from the books, and possibly even its 12 wins from 2012. That would likely give Michigan an edge regardless of what happens on Saturday.