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.


  1. Greg: Congratulations on being the catalyst for the Big Ten setting the record straight. Yost's (real) Big Ten winning percentage is now and forevermore, untouchable.

  2. MVictors: Re-writing Michigan football history since 2006.

    Great stuff, Greg.

  3. Communist Football

    Nice work, Greg!