05. August 2013 · Comments Off on The Yost Gap Widens (even more) · Categories: 2013 · Tags: , , ,

Yost Gap!

The Big Ten released its annual media guide today, including the all-time coaching records.  Thanks to scandals at Ohio State (and now Penn State) we know that the recognized W-records of a couple of the big name coaches have been in flux.  Some history for context:

  • In 2010 I lobbied the Big Ten to change Yost’s all-time conference record wrong because they had included the years 1907-1916…when Michigan was not a member of the conference.  The B1G media brass conferred and then agreed.  They made the change and thus bumped Yost’s #1 overall conference record from an .833 winning percentage to .888 (to #2 Tressel’s .828). 
  • In 2011, after the Ohio State scandal sent Tressel packing and vacated the entire 2010 season, I put the question out there of how the conference would treat Tressel’s all-time record on the official books given the scandal.   I suggested five potential scenarios:

Jim Tressel Sucks Based on today’s media guide (and if they published this previously I haven’t seen it)…we know that they went with option #2 above.  Tressel drops to .810:poof - Overall Record

So they simply removed the 2010 wins, kept the Wisconsin loss, dropped the win % to .810 and kept Tressel on the list saying he met the 10-year minimum threshold.   Sure, it would have been nice to see him drop off behind Bo or better yet, off the list completely, but there you go.   Note that Bo is #1 in winning percentage for intra conference games and no one will touch that:

Poof - Conference Records

As for JoePa, like everything else his record is pretty ruined given all wins were vacated from 1998-2011.  I haven’t run the numbers but I’m assuming they treated Paterno the same as Tressel – the wins disappear, the losses stay.  Paterno dropped to #31 all-time with a dismal .425 winning percentage:


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The saga continues on the Big Ten all-time coaching statistics.  Readers of this site know that at the urging of a pesky blogger, the Big Ten officials updated their records last season to reflect the time Michigan left the conference from 1907-1916. 

The result was a boost to Fielding Yost’s lead over Jim Tressel in conference win percentage by coaches from .833 to .888 (here are the current numbers, through last year’s bowls):

B1G Conference Records

Mark Snyder discussed the ramifications of the Ohio State self-imposed vacated wins on the all-time records in this recent piece, & note Mark corrected Yost’s official win pct last night ;)

As Snyder points out, I think we can assume nothing is official until the NCAA/Big Ten complete their investigations.   I asked the Big Ten offices to confirm and I’m guessing they will say it be resolved when the investigation is completed. 

[Update July 11] I got the expected response from the Big Ten’s Scott Chipman:

My question:  Scott, is there an official ruling from the Big Ten on how the Ohio State sanctions/vacated wins affect Tressel’s conference win percentage?  Or is this all pending the final NCAA/B10 rulings on the sanctions?

Chipman’s reply:  Greg, As of right now, that’s all TBD.

I see a few possible outcomes that could impact these records once again:

Final Punishment



Revised  Win %


1 NCAA reverses vacated wins; no change in 2010 record. 106 22 0.828 Pigs fly.
2 All 12 wins taken off the books, only the loss to Wisconsin remains 94 22 0.810 Tressel remains #2 behind Yost on the Big Ten books, slightly above Bo who’s at .796
3 All 12 2010 wins now reflected as losses on the books 94 34 0.734 Tressel drops to #7 on the all-time list, behind Yost, Bo, Crisler, Carr, Woody, etc.
4 The entire 2010 season is wiped (0-0), but Tressel is still officially coach for the 2010 season. 94 21 0.817 He remains on the list at #2, given he still qualifies with 10 seasons.
5 The entire 2010 season is wiped (0-0), and Tressel doesn’t get credit for coaching in the conference last season 94 21 0.817 Poof! Tressel completely wiped from the record books–he would not meet the minimum 10 year qualification.


Of course that assumes the punishment stays somewhere within the framework for the self-imposed penalty.  If not, there are many other potential outcomes:

  • The Big Ten could decide to take some action that’s not consistent with the NCAA ruling (like making a ruling on only the conference games, which would tweak the above table).
  • The NCAA penalty could go deeper than 2010, resulting in a bigger shift in the rankings.
  • And there’s the off chance the other coaches (Carr) could be credited with additional wins shifting the rankings even further.

Related: The ‘H’ is for Handlebar (1896)


In this post last week I mentioned that I contacted the Big Ten about their listing of the all-time conference coach rankings by winning percentage.   I noticed that Jim Tressel (.823) was on the right on the heels of Fielding Yost (.833):


But Yost’s record included all 25 years that he was a coach but we know that Michigan wasn’t in the conference for a big chunk of his tenure.   I reran the numbers after removing the years the athletic department lists as out of conference (1907-1918), and the Yost’s winning percentage jumped to .888—a tad out of reach of The Sweatervest.

I shot an email to the Big Ten and was told they would look into it.  This afternoon Scott Chipman, Assistant Commissioner of Communications, got back to me:

We made the change in the weekly release and for next year’s media guide. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

My pleasure!

The new weekly release is out and here’s the updated listing: yost888

Much better, no?

Side note:  my pal, writer & historian John Kryk (Natural Enemies) knows his history and argues that Michigan didn’t officially leave the conference until January 1908 (and thus the 1907 should be considered as in conference).  The athletic department and the Bentley Library list 1907 as out of conference.  I asked Greg Kinney of the Bentley Library to give me a ruling.  But Yost fans fear not—if you add 1907 to Yost’s tally he barely budges (.885).

Michigan 44, Syracuse 0! – The Bentley adds another point for Yost and crew.

Jeff Arnold of AnnArbor.com mentioned this in his game notes from Saturday:

The 132 points that Michigan and Illinois combined for set a record for a Big Ten conference game. The previous mark was set in 1902 when Michigan and then-Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State) scored 119 points in a 119-0 Wolverines victory.

I read that in the paper Sunday but missed this error that MVictors reader "jmblue" points out:

By the way, we’ve been told repeatedly that the "highest-scoring Big Ten game" before this was our 119-0 win over Michigan Agricultural College, but that’s not accurate since M.A.C. wasn’t in the conference at the time. Any idea what the highest-scoring actual conference game was?

Yes, according to the Big Ten weekly release it was this game:

Last Saturday at Michigan Stadium, Illinois and Michigan went to triple overtime and piled up 132 points to shatter the record for combined scoring in a conference game.

The previous Big Ten record for combined scoring in a conference games was 115 points when Minnesota defeated Purdue, 59-56, on Oct. 9, 1993.

Other Stuff
While browsing through that release I stubbed my toe on a few other items of note.  Check these out starting on Page 7 at the bottom under "Current Players Amount Or Nearing Single-Season Leaders".  You knew that Denard was tops all time for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,349 so far) but did you know?:

* Currently active Big Ten quarterbacks rank as 4 of the top 5 all time in season completion percentage.  So were over halfway through the season — do we chalk this up the fact that we haven’t factored in the coldest weeks of the season?   And look at passing efficiency.  Did you know that the legendary Bob Chappuis is first all-time but Rick-freaking-Six is right on his heels?   "Miss it Ricky."


Finally check this out.  They list the all-time conference coaching records by overall winning percentage while a member of the conference, minimum 10 years.  Given this is Jim Tressel’s 10th season old Sweatervest McCheaty Pants makes the grade..and he’s right on the heels of The Grand Old Man!   He’s just a few percentage points away:


However!  Not so fast my Scarlet-sweatervested friend…

Note that this applies to all games "played while a member of the Big Ten."  Michigan wasn’t a member of the conference from 1907-1916 and they counted that in Yost’s percentage.  (For the purposes of record keeping Western Conference = Big Ten).

Here’s how his numbers stack up when you correct this and only account for his record while coaching in the conference:


Yep – not .833 but a whopping .888 percentage.   I contacted the Big Ten media relations folks to have them take a look at this and make sure there’s some breathing room between Yost and Tressel.

[ed. 11/8 -  I already got a response from the Big Ten.  They’re going to talk it over and get back to me.]