Best College Football Teams

The greatest collegiate football teams to play the game. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers
When you can average over 400 yards rushing a game when other teams know you are going to run it, they're is nothing you can do. Their coaching and skill surpassed any team in history. 01 Canes had a lot of talent, but as a team and coaching were not as good. They almost lost to Boston College too. Nebraska was never even close to losing to any team.
During the Regular season
-outscored opponents 421-150
-NU gained 6, 119, opp gained 3235
-averaged 52. 4 points per game
-Defense had 32 sacks for 231 yds


Everyone wants to talk about players that made it into the pros and what they did there but we all know that college and the NFL are different games. Look at how Heisman trophy winners typically perform in the NFL. It is about the team and not just the players. You may also want to look at the offensive linemen that played that year at Nebraska and what they did in the NFL. These are unheralded workhorses that made that power running attack possible. Nebraska in the 90's wasn't about being flashy it was about smashmouth football and winning.
[Newest]Great team, great pick
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22001 Miami Hurricanes
In my opinion, (and in the opinion of many), the 2001 Miami Hurricanes were the greatest
College football team of all
Time. One may argue this, of course, but I don't believe one can seriously argue against '01 Miami being, at least, the most talented college football team ever. At least 6 players on their roster have played in the pro bowl( Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Jeremy Shockey, Ed Reed( N.F.L. defensive Player of the Year), and Sean Taylor. There may be more I'm not aware of and more on the way. A couple of points to manifest their dominance: After their 65-7 dismantling of #11 Washington in the Orange Bowl, Miami was 10-0. This followed a 59-0 blow out of 13th ranked Syracuse the week before. The Canes margin of victory was greater against ranked teams than against their unranked opponents. The Miami defense allowed 13 touchdowns and Miami also scored 11 non- offensive touchdowns. These figures may be off by one either way since I don't have these stats at hand. But it was truly an amazing display of dominance for a team to score within a couple of touchdowns of what they allowed FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON without their explosive and very talented offense ever taking the field!
There is no way this team should not be #1 go up and down the roster and at least half of the kids names you see are all nfl players or perennial pro bowlers

at every position this team was 3 or 4 players deep and there was no drop off from the starters to the bench players

They should have played in the national championship in 99 they would have beat Oklahoma, they won it in 01 and then should have won it in 03 on the crappiest call in college football history they should have had a 3 peat
Andre Johnson, Sean Taylor, Ed Reed, Bryant Mckinnie, Jonathan Vilma, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow Jr, Vernon Carey, Phillip Buchanon, DJ Williams, Vince Wilfork, Mike Rumph, Antrel Rolle, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Martin Bibla, Najeh Davenport, James Lewis, Daryl Jones, Joaquin Gonzalez, Ken Dorsey, Chris Myers, Brett Romberg, and Roscoe Parrish.

Seeing this team as number 2 makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
[Newest]Of course 2001 Miami is the GOAT.
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32006 Texas Longhorns
Go back and watch th '05 - '06 Rose Bowl and count the NFL stars on both teams. It's ridiculous. That game was the greatest college football game ever played and this team won. They were truely inVINCEable!


VINCE YOUNG - One of the greatest college football players of all time
Definitely one if the best teams EVER! They scored 70 points in the Big XII championship. VY was one of the greatest college QBs of all time.

[Newest]The best team ever is right here

41992 Alabama Crimson Tide
This team had 4 future first round NFL draft pics starting on its defense, and the defense was on the field often due to an average offense, but it still managed to hold its opponents to 9.3 points, and 50 yards rushing, per game. If any opposing QB had not thrown the ball by 3 seconds, he was usually sacked or, at a minimum, hurried into making a bad throw. Of the starting 11 on defense, 8 made it to the NFL and one of the remaining players did not only because of a serious car accident. Since passing rules were liberalized in the 1970s, this team has the most dominant defense in college football.
This team was the absolute best defense in the land (possibly ever). I watched them firsthand destroy the offense of the team I played for (Miss. State), while we tried to keep Derrick Lassic in check (no easy task when you're on the field for 3/4 of the game).
Best defense of all time. No one could score on them. Miami did not score an offensive touchdown in the National Title game on the defense.
[Newest]They are great Ohio state is better

52005 USC Trojans
Reggie Bush? easily the most talented athlete college football has ever seen. amazing cutbacks and field vision. whiped the floor with oklahoma, and woulda beat texas the next year had there not been like 10 missed calls. those refs actually get paid for that?


The D held teams to under 9 points a game and was 1 play away from 3 straights NCs. 11 NFL draftees. Two Heisman trophy winners. And you rank them 9th? REALLY? Child please.
These guys were unstoppable all season. They had an enormous amount of fire power and a solid D.

61991 Washington Huskies
1991 HUSKIES BEST OF ALL TIME. I WILL EXPLAIN. 1991 Heisman Voting was rigged! Mario Bailey (1067 yards and 17 TD) had more yards, and averaged more yards per catch, and had the same number of receptions as Heisman winner (really loser) Desmond Howard. Steve Emtman was the REAL Heisman winner that year! HUSKIES PAC 10 RANKINGS : (1)TOTAL DEFENSE (1) PASS DEFENSE (1) RUSH DEFENSE (1) TAKEAWAYS (1)SCORING DEFENSE (1) QB SACKS and (1) 3rd DOWN DENIALS! (TELL ME WHERE YOU FIND DEFENSE LIKE THAT! ) SCORES : vs Stanford (42-7) vs. Nebraska (36-21) vs. Kansas State (56-3) vs. Arizona (54-0) vs. Toledo (48-0) vs. Cal 24-17 < only close game all year! Oregon (29-7). Mario Bailey won the Pac 10 player of the year, Steve Emtman won Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award as well as Pac 10 defensive player of the year AND the MORIS TROPHY, so did Lincoln Kennedy! Don James was Pac 10 coach of the year. They beat a TOUGH Michigan team 34-14 in the ROSE BOWL! (Michigan would avenge the loss 2 years later at the 93 rose bowl). On top of the BEST DEFENSE in the country the Huskies Beno Bryant 943 yards and 8 touchdowns, Jay Barry with 718 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Freshman Napoleon Kaufman gained 307 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 64 attempts. Their rushing attack along with their balanced passing game by Billy Joe Hobert, led the Huskies to the National Championship in 1991. Which by the way they were absolutely ripped off because the stupid AP WRITERS poll left Miami @ #1. Miami was scared to play them that year! (Which was SO FUN TO WATCH THE HUSKIES IN 94' tear their heads off they handed Miami their first home loss in 58 games! ) If I haven't convinced you that this team was the best of all time, watch their highlights on youtube from 1991-1992 season, I guarantee you the 95 CORNHUSKERS COULDN'T HAVE BEAT THIS TEAM! The only team I can think of in my lifetime that could have maybe beat this team was the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.
The 1991 Washington team outscored their opponents 495 - 115 even though Don James didn't like to run up the score on teams. I remember him pulling starters early in the second half most of those games. Their defense was off the charts giving up 9 per. They beat 3 top 10 teams on the road that year, including a 34-14 win over #4 ranked Michigan. The following year 12 players were drafted including the #1 overall pick. I would have loved to see them play Miami that year. Miami was awesome in 1991. Nebraska was the only team that played against them both that year and coach Tom Osbourne was quoted as saying Washington would have beat Miami had they played each other.
I agree whole heartedly that the Huskies were the #1 of all time if it hadn't been for Michigan not being allowed to go to back to back to back Rose Bowls they would have destroyed them as well that year. That being said Iowa got the nod from the Rose bowl comm. and the Huskies got screwed and had to share the National title with a far inferior Miami team...
[Newest]I'm trying to think of a college defense that I have seen in my 44 years that was better than the '91 Huskies.. I can't think of any. Honestly, I believe that they would beat any team on this list. The defense was suffocating and the offense wasn't too shabby either. Miami had a tougher schedule that year but I have no doubt that the Huskies would have won that game easily..
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71994 Penn State Nittany Lions
Nebraska fans will rip the Penn State defense saying they would have scored at will had Penn State and Nebraska played. In Penn State's toughest games of that season, the lions would cruise in the first half and give up more points in the second half do the playing prevent styles of defense and putting the back ups in when it was real out of hand. Half time Scores: #14 Southern Cal 35-0, #5 Michigan 16-3, #20 Ohio State 35-0 and #9 Oregon 14-7. That's 10 points given up total vs 4 top 20 teams. Bottom line is PSU's defense would have done well against a run only Nebraska team and the huskers defense would have done about as well as Illinois did. Penn State 35 Nebraska 17! LETS GO STATE!
The offense, clearly one of the greatest ever, had a perfect balance of run and pass and had sensational athletes that worked together to execute the plays called. And they ran the most basic plays from a pro-I formation most of the time. They didn't need trickery and in fact, not once even lined up in the shotgun formation or ran any kind of option play. Simply dominant.

The defense hardly gave up big plays although they would give up long drives from time to time. It wasn't the best defense Penn State has ever fielded but it was very solid, considering the fact that more than half of the starters at the beginning of the year on defense missed extensive time due to injuries.
Too much offensive fire power for any college level defense to handle. Illinois and Oregon both had top tier defenses that year. Illinois gave up 35 at home. Oregon gave up 38 in the Rose Bowl. Penn State scored 63 on an Ohio State team that finished #12 and almost beat an 11-1 Alabama team. Penn State was just as dominant vs USC that year. I wish we could have seen Penn State-Nebraska for the national title. Would have been the most hyped game in the history of college football. I like Penn State over Nebraska 38-28. WE ARE...
[Newest]Defense was very average!

82005 Texas Longhorns
Vince Young should've won the Heisman Trophy that year. They need to have the balloting after all bowls are finished. He led the highest scoring offense in he nation at 50.2 per game including the Rose Bowl. The defense was outstanding as well in tying for 8th in scoring D with 16.4 points per game and 8th in pass D allowing 172 only yards per outing. I remember when ESPN matched 2005 USC against the top 10 teams ever and they said if Texas beat USC you had to put them at least in the top three.
You have a mix up between 2005 and 2006 Texas. This team was probably the third best team in college history. 2006 Texas should not be listed.

91988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
They shouldn't have won at all they should have lost to miami because miami's players was in the end zone when they stripped but still called it a fumble
Notre Dame is the best team in college football history
They beat 3 of the top 5 teams.
[Newest]This team plays hard and literally "fight"there way

102008 Florida Gators

The Contenders

112009 Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama's first Heisman in running back Mark Ingram running through the sec. His back up Trent Richardson Who many think is better than him. Greg McElroy who refused to lose a game. Julio Jones possibly the toughest WR in college history. By far the best defense in the 21st century. These guys shut down one of the greatest QB's in college history in Tim Tebow.
Superior game management skills and intensity that was unrivaled across the country. Fan support that puts over 100k in the stands at home and a traveling crew of thousands - doesn't hurt to have the most intellectually gifted coach since the Bear in Tuscaloosa either!
Great talent... hard competition... unbeaten season... Roll Tide, Roll!


[Newest]They were just too good to be beaten

122003 LSU Tigers
Cause there the best team too easy for them
Lsu is the best in world GO TIGERS!

132013 Florida State Seminoles
Latest and greatest. We were saved the best for last!

141997 Michigan Wolverines
I believe the people who make these lists do not know anything about the sport as a whole. When you say college football, remember it has been played for over 100 years. More teams from the other eras should be looked at more. Notre Dame and Michigan has had much better teams than what was seen in 1997 and 1988.
Michigan's D only allowed 9 points per game that year. The difference maker between them and the Huskers would be that Michigan could pass the ball. Both teams had great rushers, buy Michigan had a better balance and that's why Michigan would've won a game between the two. Oh, and Michigan didn't need an "accidental, on purpose" kicked ball td to save the game against a weak opponent.
Not nearly as good as 1997 Nebraska team, but still undefeated.
Defense was ranked 1st (NE=2nd) but not much of an Offense (NU=3rd)
[Newest]They were great best team ever

151968 Ohio State Buckeyes
Buckeyes all the way
They took down the 2001 Miami hurricanes?!
They're great end of story

162011 Alabama Crimson Tide
No, kidding they won the championship they are the best. ROLL TIDE!
They one the championship!
Alabama is the best team

171972 USC Trojans
How quickly people forget! Is this a popularity poll or fact! This SC team was in the top 3 ever!
Um Hello? This was the best team ever. Sam Cunningham and OJ Simpson?! They blew out every team they faced.
Hello have you seen USC

182012 Alabama Crimson Tide

192007 Florida Gators
The Florida Gators have had many seasons where they lost only one game. All of the other teams on this list are no where near as good as the Florida Gators. The only team that beat them in 2009^^2010 is the Alabama Crimson Tide. These other teams do not match the Gators when it comes to skill.

TEBOW. The Denver Broncos just made the biggest mistake ever so good luck tebow in NY
Best team by far

202011 LSU Tigers
Was undefeated with the hardest schedule, up to the BCS championship.

211998 Tennessee Volunteers
Peyton manning was not on this team though, they were very good on defense with 11 nfl caliber starters, peerless price was most dynamic player on team and the Arkansas game was an instant classic
Should not even be in top 20.
First BCS champions team. Roster includes: Peyton Manning, Tee Martin, Jamal Lewis, Peerless Price, etc

222010 Oregon Ducks
They were explosive but they only scored 19 points to a subpar Auburn Team that was actually a good team. the schedule they had was weak and Oregon does have trouble against other good teams. They shouldn't be on this list with other championship teams.
The ducks are the best team because they are ranked number 2 right now and hasn't lost a game yet also last year thy were in the bcs againts auburn but they lost but at lest they got to be in the bcs and I think they one of the best teams inthe country
They had an amazing offense and crushed every team in the Pac-10.

231945 Army Black Nights
The Army Football Team of 1945 is undoubtedly the greatest of all-time. A lot of the teams listed above Army couldn't even compete against that Army team which had not only a dominant defense but had one the greatest backfields in with Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis rolled over every opponent.
Played toughest schedule of any college team in history.

241947 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Million GIs were coming back from the war and many entering college on the GI bill. As a result, this was an environment where battle hardened soldiers were playing college ball and for college coaches it was like having unlimited scholarships. This was the most competitive era in college football history. To be national champs in this era defined you as the greatest team ever.

252010 Auburn Tigers
2010 ducks better than 2010 tigers

261974 Oklahoma Sooners
only undefeated team that year outscored opposition 473-92 averaged 43ppg and only gave up 8.3ppg
The 74 Sooners only ranked 17th? You people have to be daft. This was the greatest college football team ever assembled. They nearly all went to the pros.

271999 Florida State Seminoles
Peter Warrick was the best player in college football in 1999. and was responsible for 20 points in the 200 0 sugar bowl
They might not have had a hard ACC schedule but at least they beat them like they should
This is retarded they should be top 10

281955 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma sooners are probably the most successful ncaa football team ever. They've had so many heisman trophy winners. They've had a ton of first round draft picks and one of the hardest places to play
The Oklahoma Sooners have the facts to back them up... they are one of the best football teams ever.
The Oklahoma sooners are the best college football team because we have dominated

291982 Georgia Bulldogs
I don't know how Georgia is not #1. Unlike most teams we are great every year no matter the circumstance. We have had Herschel Walker, Aaron Murray (still have), Jarvis Jones, AJ Green, Knowshon Moreno, Fran Tarkenton, Champ Bailey, Matt Stafford, Frank Sinkwich and so much more. GO DAWGS
Yea their good my whole room is bulldog stuff I love harry dog you my friend are awesome and who let the dogs out who who who
GO DAWGS! GO DAWGS! Hershal Walker was our man! Love AJ Green, too!
[Newest]Tar heels should be right here
But bulldogs are ok I'm the guy that said my whole room was bulldog boo

301971 Nebraska Cornhuskers
I watched this team play they would have wiped the floor with the '95 Nebraska Squad. They played in a tougher era of college football and dominated like no other team. They were the fastest team I ever saw.


Been watching this game since 1960... The Big Eight finishes 1,2 and 3 in all the polls. Their schedule was filled will ranked teams. Stellar at every part of the game. They beat all the teams but the 2006 Longhorns.
they had everything going and johnny rodgers was extremely good
[Newest]Team is better than 26. Much better. I have seen them ranked in other polls as the best team of all time.

311959 Syracuse Orangemen
They dominated and they had be be good... Ernie Davis was a special person. Even speaking with him on campus... he he gave me some of his time... and was a wonderful young man!
People don't remember this team because Syracuse isn't a storied program, but my grandpa said he saw this team play and he said they were very good.


THESE GUYS ALL THE WAY! All because of Ernie Davis! He was the best football player that ever played or at least the best black player that played

322004 Auburn Tigers
Perfect team, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 2006), Jason Campbell, John Vaugh.
Should have been in the national championship
Easily the most balanced and best team of that season, no body could have come close to them in the championship game. War dam eagle!


Auburn is a joke glad they didn't make to the title game

331901 Michigan Wolverines
This is the obvious choice for number 1. Kids these days only care about what happened in their lifetime, or what they can remember. Just because it happened before they were born or before T.V. coverage, doesn't mean it didn't happen or isn't relevant anymore. Yes, the game was different back then, but it as different equally for all teams. Michigan did something in 1901 that no other team could do, and all other teams were playing the same game with the same rules back then. This is something that will NEVER happen again.
Why is this team not ranked as the greatest ever? It is because there are way too many young folks with no concept of college football's traditions and TOO MUCH ESPN brain-washing. They actually think that college football began with video coverage and tend to rate only relatively recent teams as great, as evidenced by the voting results... Just look at the dates.
outscored their opponents 550-0.

Would actually punt the ball on first down in the second half because they were up by so much.

341961 Alabama Crimson Tide
the best D-fense ever. only allowed 2 points per game. good offense too. the best program ever. best coach ever.
Only allowed 25 points all season

351993 Florida State Seminoles
Lost to Notre Dame. Ranked number 1 because writers felt sorry for coach.
The defense outscored the first 7 teams of the season destroyed all competion

Best 1 loss team of all time
Ould beat our 99 team all day. That one loss is whats stopping this from being the greatest ever.

362008 Oklahoma Sooners

371997 Tennessee Volunteers
Splitting national title with Michigan instead of Nebraska.. Pathetic Michigan
If Manning doesn't have a blown out knee, the Vols beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl

381947 Michigan Wolverines

392007 Kansas Jayhawks
11-1 and we aren't done. GO KU! GO KU!
cause we beat the hokies and cats
Todd reesing all the way

401924 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
They had 4 payers rush for 1000 yards. This was also the year that ND went to its first bowl game, the rose bowl were they beat a powerful stanford team that was coached by Pop Warner himself.

412006 Kentucky Wildcats

422001 Oregon Ducks

432007 West Virginia Mountaineers

441981 Clemson Tigers
They were the best team back then and they are still good today

451969 Penn State Nittany Lions
Richard Nixon said Texas was #1 in 1969, so it must have been true! Laugh out loud Whatever! Penn State had a great offense led by future NFL all pros, Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell. #1 Defense in the country, giving up only 8 points a game led by Jack Ham, Dennis Onkotz and Mike Reid. Held #6 Missouri to 3 points in the Orange Bowl and finished 11-0. Also, these Nittany Lions hadn't lost a game in 30 games! BEST IN THE COUNTRY!
Agree. Would have been to much speed for Texas to handle! Too much color on the field for Texas at the time. Lets play!
One of JoePa's best. Agreed, would have wrecked Texas!

461984 BYU Cougars
Not the best team in the country that year. A very undervalued team indeed. The 83,84, and 85 BYU teams put several players in the NFL. Many of those players went on to have good careers in the league. The 84 season was a weird one. Washington, Oklahoma, or maybe USC were the 3 best that year. BYU was probably number 4. Still, the Cougars were really good that year. Playing in the WAC never did anyone favors. This Cougar team gets overlooked.

472006 Louisville Cardinals

481986 Miami Hurricanes

491899 Sewanee Tigers
12-0. Against Tennessee
Texas Georgia
Lu's auburn and others

502014 Ohio State Buckeyes
When you win 3 straight championship games, with your third string QB including wins over #1 Alabama and #2 Oregon in the first college football playoff game, you deserve to be considered the best. Go Bucks!

511994 Nebraska Cornhuskers
You all put the 1994 Penn St team in the top 10, but the 94 Huskers won the National Title, by beating Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and the Miami Hurricanes, in the Orange Bowl (Miami's Home Feild). Led by Tommie Frazier, Brook Berringer, Lawrence Phillips, and The Pipeline, the greatest offensive line ever. I agree the 95 Huskers is the number 1 team ever, but the 94 Huskers have to be top 5!

521980 Georgia Bulldogs

531919 Texas A&M Aggies
Dana x Bible was the coach at that time that's also the season the 12th man tradition started
Did not give up a point the entire season.
Best team of all time

542003 USC Trojans

552004 USC Trojans

561976 Pittsburgh Panthers
Totally dominating team...8 NFL stars on this team... Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, RIcky Jackson, BIll Fralic, Matt CAvenaugh among others on this team... I'm a UGA fan and watched this team destroy a good Ga. Team in sugar bowl.
One of the best college football teams of all time should be much higher
2007 wvu mountaineers above this team what a joke they didn't go to the bcs championship. The 76 Panthers however destroyed #2 Georgia in the sugar bowl 27-3 should be top 15 at least

571970 Texas Longhorns

582009 Connecticut Huskies

592012 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

601983 Miami Hurricanes

612003 Kansas State Wildcats

621999 Virginia Tech Hokies

632004 James Madison Dukes

642012 Florida Gators

652012 Texas A&M Aggies
Manziel led them to 10 wins and 2 losses. Not to Mention the victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in The AT&T Cotton Bowl. Aggies 41 Sooners 13

662002 Ohio State Buckeyes
We won it and we aren't done yet. Go Buckeyes!
National champs enough said

672014 Notre Dame

682014 North Alabama Lions

692011 Iowa State Cyclones
They defeated #2 Oklahoma State 37-31 in double overtime

701910 Pittsburgh Panthers

711986 Penn State Nittany Lions
Amazing backfield with 4 NFLers (DJ Dozier, Blair Thomas, Steve Smith and Tim Monoa) and good o-line. GREAT defense lead my Shane Conlin! Forced 7 turnovers vs the great 86 Canes squad and made Vinny Testeverde and Jimmy Johnson cry!

722008 Utah Utes

732011 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

742013 Washington Huskies

752012 Oregon State Beavers

762013 Duke Blue Devils

772014 Georgia Bulldogs
They are not a good football team whenever I watch them my eyes water. ROLL TIDE

782011 Clemson Tigers
Clemson Tigers are the best!

791937 Pittsburgh Panthers

801915 Pittsburgh Panthers

811918 Pittsburgh Panthers

822008 Cincinnati Bearcats

832011 Michigan State Spartans

842013 North Dakota State

851939 Tennessee Volunteers
This is General Neyland's best team. They shut out their opponents the whole season while going to the Rose Bowl. THAT IS PHENOMINAL!

862014 Oregon ducks

871997 Nebraska Cornhuskers
tougher bowl win against peyton manning, tee martin, jamal lewis they beat the crap out of a 1 loss sec team while michigan struggled against washington state plus tennessee went on to win the title next year!
Nebraska's tradition and excellence is the best of any college football team in america... Husker's are amazing!
they dismantled every one they played led by all american ahman green and they had one of the most punishing running games anyone had ever seen

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This list was created 9 years, 160 days ago and has been voted on over 4,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 5 times.

Updated Saturday, April 25, 2015

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