Let's take a look at the winningest teams in DII football history.
Before we get to the actual programs, we have to answer an important question: what defines winningest? Is it the school with the most wins? Or is it the school that has done it the best, with the highest winning percentage? Or do all those wins not matter, and only the number of trophies sitting in the display case?
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When looking at each of those three categories — wins, winning percentage, and most national championships — the answer is a different team. So, instead of making this a one-answer question, we'll break down the top teams in each category.
(Note: All numbers below are through Week 6 of the 2019 DII football season. We will update the totals at the conclusion of the DII football championship in December since postseason wins are included in these numbers.)
The winningest teams in DII football history: Total wins
No team in DII history has more wins than Pittsburg State, now at 716 wins through six weeks in 2019. That's an average of 6.5 wins per season over the Gorillas' 111-year history. That's incredible consistency for over a century's worth of DII football.
Three teams near the bottom of the current top 10 — West Chester, Virginia State, and Northwest Missouri State — are off to great starts in 2019, something that has become much more the norm for those programs. Expect the three to continue to rise up the top 10.
Truman (578) and Indiana (Pa) (573) are two teams outside these 10 that can possibly jump into the list. Both teams are off to 5-1 starts in 2019 and look to continue their winning ways down the stretch. While it would take a championship run for IUP to break the top 10 this year, next season is in its reach.
The winningest teams in DII football history: Winning percentage
Though Pittsburg State owns the most wins, it's Grand Valley State that has won at the best rate. The Lakers have 403 wins in 547 games, winning more than eight games a year over their 48-plus year history. Of course, a record-setting 40-game winning streak will help that total.
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The winningest teams in DII football history: National championships
If the most titles are how you judge the winningest team, then DII football is Bearcats Country. Northwest Missouri State has six titles — more than anyone else in DII lore — with back-to-back undefeated runs coming as recently as 2015-16.
Valdosta State tied Grand Valley State amongst active DII programs with the second-most titles at four. The Blazers haven't lost since and could look to get one closer to the Bearcats if their current 21-game winning streak continues to McKinney, Texas on Dec. 21.