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Top 10 University of Michigan football wins of all time
The stakes couldn't have been higher when Charles Woodson (2) and Michigan squared off with David Boston (9) and Ohio State on Nov. 22, 1997. (Credit: Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Top 10 University of Michigan football wins of all time

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BVM) — The University of Michigan has one of the greatest college football programs in history. These are the Wolverines’ top 10 wins since their inception in 1879.

10. Aug. 26, 1995: Michigan 18, Virginia 17

Michigan man Lloyd Carr made his debut as Wolverines’ head coach in the 1995 Pigskin Classic, after a decade and a half as an assistant on staff. No. 14 U of M found themselves 17 points behind vs. the 17th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers at home with less than a quarter left. With all of the pressure on Carr, his players would deliver. U of M erased the deficit as QB Scott Dreisbach found Mercury Hayes for a score to claim victory.

9. Oct. 30, 2004: Michigan 45, Michigan State 37

The Wolverines pulled some Devil’s Night tricks on the Spartans in 2004. U of M trailed by three scores with just over eight and a half minutes remaining. From that point, freshman field general Chad Henne connected with wide receiver extraordinaire Braylon Edwards for three TDs as Michigan prevailed in triple overtime.

8. Oct. 16, 1948: Michigan 28, Northwestern 0

No. 4 Michigan took the field in their toughest match of the fall vs. No. 3 Northwestern. The Wolverines played like a team possessed and trounced the Wildcats. The win propelled them to a perfect 9-0 season and the 1948 college football crown.

7. Jan. 1, 2000: Michigan 35, Alabama 34

U of M faced a 14-point deficit with time ticking down in the Orange Bowl. Famed QB Tom Brady led Michigan back from the brink.  They forced sudden death overtime as Brady tossed a 25-yard strike to turn away the Alabama Crimson Tide.

6. Jan. 1, 1902: Michigan 49, Stanford 0

This marked the beginning of Michigan’s fabled point-a-minute run. U of M schooled Stanford in the inaugural Rose Bowl game and the Wolverines won their first national championship. That win took Michigan to another level as they claimed four consecutive national titles. The reign would last from 1901-1904.

5. Oct. 25, 1902:  Michigan 86, Ohio State 0

In a blood feud known simply as ‘The Game’, Michigan beat Ohio State by the biggest margin in that rivalry’s 125-year history. It truly means that much more against the Buckeyes. The Wolverines went on to repeat as national champions.

4. Nov. 22, 1969: Michigan 24, Ohio State 12

Bo Schembechler’s opening year as head coach saw No. 12 Michigan host No. 1 Ohio State. The Wolverines would record six INTs and shut down the Buckeyes. U of M ended two decades of dominance, plus dashed any hopes of postseason glory for Woody Hayes and crew.

3. Nov. 22, 1997: Michigan 20, Ohio State 14

No. 1-ranked U of M squared off with the No. 4 Buckeyes in a huge battle. The stakes couldn’t have been higher. Ohio State was the final obstacle on the fall schedule for the 10-0 Wolverines in their bid to become national champions. Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson hit paydirt on a 78-yard punt return and Michigan closed the season as NCAA champs.

2. Jan. 1, 1948: Michigan 49, USC 0

Michigan and Notre Dame vied for No. 1 through the fall of 1947. Associated Press voters tabbed the Fighting Irish at No. 1 following a 38-7 pasting of USC. Yet Michigan had the final word. They sent a message to rival Notre Dame and the AP voters with a demolition job on Southern Cal. The Wolverines trampled the Trojans and topped Notre Dame’s performance. That simply stoked the competitive fires between them. 

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1. Nov. 24, 1894: Michigan 12, Cornell 4

The win was a watershed moment for U of M football. Michigan had never beaten a big-name program from the east until then. The Wolverines made a statement to the rest of college football — they could compete with the best.

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