Greatest College Football Programs

The Top Ten

1 Alabama

Alabama has long been the example of Southern College Football Pride. Winning football games at the regularity Alabama has in the deep south against Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, etc. is remarkable. However the national presence and historic games against teams like Penn State, Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas, Michigan, etc. help solidify their ranking at the top of any greatest college football program list. While they did not win all of those historic games they have played in as many or more than these other programs and have won more than their fair share. More bowl games played and won than any other program as helps justify a number 1 ranking of the greatest college football programs. Alabama has also had some of the greatest college football coaches in Paul "Bear" Bryant, Nick Saban, Wallace Wade, Gene Stallings, and Frank Thomas. They won at least 1 title in the following decades 20's, 30's, 40's, 60's, 70's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010's, leaving ...more

At this point, Alabama has simply ran away and hid from the rest of the field seeking the mantle of "Greatest of All Time". The numbers prove it. But as prodigious as those numbers are, it's downright mind boggling when you consider the fact that Alabama didn't begin playing football for decades after the other blue blood programs such as Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, etc. The Southeast was essentially a closed-off society until the turn of the 20th century. The region's isolation was a result of it's poor agrarian economy and shattered infrastructure still yet to be fully reconstructed after the Civil War. The categories of CFB measurables (conference titles, Heismans, all time wins, etc.) where Alabama finds themselves trailing other prestige programs can be explained by this variable. Had the game of football reached the Southeast sooner, Alabama wouldn't have had to wait so long to begin accumulating their all time wins. It also meant they could've been able to play ...more

Alabama football is not just about a team. The program has more national championships than any other, sure. It turns out NFL players by the dozen, sure. It consistently finishes near the top of the rankings, sure. But Alabama football is also a huge source of pride to a region of the country usually viewed with disdain. While the rest of the country makes fun of this state for its rural roots, poor population, poor education and every other stereotype imaginable, no one - No One - doubts the power of the Bama Football Nation. They hate Alabama football. They hate Saban and Kiffin. They can't stand the fight song and Rammer Jammer. They insult the legacy of the Bear. But in the end, they still watch as Bama walks away with another trophy. Alabama is a polarizing team with a legacy that inspires love or envy. In yet through it all you won't hear Bama players talking trash or being disrespectful. They win and win humbly. Every player believes in a team effort and show boating usually ...more

I'm a middle aged Notre Dame fan in Illinois and just I voted Alabama #1. Why? Because a "Greatest of All Time" list means you have to be great throughout the history of college football. I love Notre Dame but only Alabama has been consistently great in the distant past, the recent past, right now in the present, and will be great on into the future. Notre Dame was only great from the 1920s-1980s. But in actuality our decline isn't confined to the last 28 years since our last national championship in 1988. It has actually been trending down for the past 50 years, since 1965. In the past 50 years Notre Dame has won 4 national titles and 1 Heisman trophy. Alabama has won 9 national titles, 2 Heisman trophies, and a lot more bowl games than and. I'm a Fighting Irish fan who is reasonable and realistic, and I have no problem admitting Alabama has overtaken us by now in prestige, tradition, and overall value.

2 Ohio State

When you combine the tradition, level of excellence and the DURATION over which that excellence was maintained, no program not named USC comes close to Ohio State. Add to that the hardware for individual merits, NFL picks (including 1st round picks) and one of the highest football budgets (after you filter out the accounting noise, such as donations which programs like Penn State classify as football revenue, but Ohio State doesn't), they are among the bluest of blue bloods in college football. Plus it's the program that coined THREE YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST

The tradition, honor, and Excellence THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY possesses is unmatched! Best college football program of all time without a doubt! We have the best fans in the nation and continue to be a force in college football every year, especially with Urban Meyer! GO BUCKS!

By far Ohio state has the best college football program. Ohio State has been great for a very long time and the coaches they have had were great coaches who lead them to so many championships and conference championships. Ohio state has many more wins in them, too. Go Bucks!

Not even top 4 for me... A losing Bowl record, losing record to Michigan speaks for itself.

3 Notre Dame

Being #3 on this list is an affront to my fandom & to my identity as a man. But if I'm being rational as a CFB fan & being honest with myself, it's probably fair. We should be #2 ahead of Ohio State at least (even though they've obliterated us in our last 3 matchups in big bowl games) since we have 8 consensus national titles in the poll era and Ohio State only has 5. Everything else is about equal between us in all the other areas with us having slight leads over them in those other categories. Only Alabama should be ahead of us because they've legitimately surpassed us now. It ' sucks and I can't stand it, but we've screwed around too much in the past 25 years and we've allowed Alabama to pass us. With the new "doom and gloom" mentality being the mindset that has set in among our fanbase; the stringent academic requirements; and the new focus/center of CFB being the Southeast, Alabama is the greatest program ever right now because their present and future look just as bright as ...more

Most CONSENSUS National Championships (11) (Alabama only has 9). Most National Championships CLAIMED AND UNCLAIMED (22) (Alabama only has 19). Tied for most National Championships recognized by the NCAA (13). Most Heisman winners (7). Most NCAA Hall of Fame Inductees (44). Best all-time winning percentage (.733). Most All-Americans (97). 2nd most NFL draftees (485). 2nd most NFL HOF (10). Best alumni. Best traditions and history. Oh and JOE Montana! NOTRE DAME IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

I just visited this campus recently and it was nearly a religious experience. Great crowd, wonderful atmosphere and football team that places more weight on the scholar over the athlete than most other schools.

No matter how much people hate the Fighting Irish, they have the best football program in the country, with a national and inter-national fan base

4 Michigan

National titles since 1950

Michigan - 1 (shared)
Alabama - 12

Not even close

Not only being one of the best colleges in America, but combining that with their fantastic comeback from past years in their 2016 season, you have a 5 star team. You can add on a sweet theme song (The Victors, you should check it out),the best defensive program in the Big 10, and legendary players. This team takes the cake when it comes to playing football.

Not only having a stellar educational program, but also having a highly ranked football team throughout the years definitely makes this the strongest college football program out there.

One of the oldest teams in college football history, they've won 11 consensus national titles, 15 total national titles, 42 conference titles, and 924 total games (the most EVER). They have had 78 consensus All-Americans, 3 Heisman winners, and they currently have the largest stadium in not only in college football, but in all of the United States. GO BLUE!

5 Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the most consistent program ever. Every decade besides the 90s they were always a top 10 powerhouse year in and year out. Not to mention right now in the modern era where talent is higher than ever they are churning out greater offensive players and great quarterbacks in college and the NFL. The fact that Michigan higher is terrible Oklahoma is a top 3 program at least.

Simply the BEST modern era college football program, bar none!

Holds the longest winning streak in history at 47
Been to the College Football Playoffs 3 times
Won 7 National Championships
Won the most divisional championships of any team with 48
Been to 52 Bowl games
Been ranked number 1 in 101 Weeks

17 national titles claimed and unclaimed. 45 conference titles, and 5 heisman trophy winners. They have only had 12 losing seasons, more 10+ win seasons than any other program, and the most wins since after World War II. No school but Oklahoma has had at least four coaches that won 100 games, and had the most weeks at no. 1 in the BCS polls. Oklahoma should be in the top 3 for sure.

6 USC

USC and Notre Dame are literally the two best college football programs of all time, and no other team, not even Nick Satan's Alabama is close to being as good as these. I'm surprised the USC vs Notre Dame Rivalry isn't bigger than Alabama and Auburn.

A symbolic west coast powerhouse football program packed with tradition and history. Greatest in the West? Look no further

USC is the 2nd College Football team ever right behind Notre Dame, Alabama can take Bronze

Running Back U starting to turn into QB U.

7 Nebraska

-Holds 15 NCAA ALL-TIME TEAM RECORDS
-Holds 12 NCAA ALL-TIME INDUVIUAL RECORDS

Records
-MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN A SEASON, 89, 1983
-YARDS GAIN WITHOUT LOSS IN A GAME, 677, 1982
-AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH IN A SEASON, 7. 81, Mike Rozier 1983
-MOST PLAYERS REACHING 2000 RUSH YARDS IN A SEASON, 3, 2000
-NCAA RECORD OF CONSECUTIVE BOWL APPERANCES, 35, 1969-2003
-NCAA RECORD OF 17 JANUARY BOWL APPERENCES, 1981-1997

Nebraska is awesome, 1995 team most dominant of all time, they beat the unstoppable #2 Florida Gators 62 - 24 in the national championship game. No other team can compare.

Should be rank a little higher

Most supportive and most welcoming fan base in all of college football. Enough said.

8 Florida State

1 coach "Bobby Bowden" 34 years. Not to many schools could say that.
14 straight top ten finishes. No school can say that.
Unfortunately 3 wide left or right field goals cost us 3 national championships.

Boo

Still a young program. should not be top 10

Most consistent team of last 30 years.

Most consistent team of the past 40 years

9 Miami

Success in national championships is only matched by success in the NFL draft and pro bowls. Best players in this sport play in Miami

Just look at NFL star players today.. end of story

It's all about the U. No program has won more titles in a shorter period of time. Enough said.

If you put Miami all time roster against any of these programs all time roster Miami would win against all of them

10 Texas

UT throughout the years has been a powerhouse. Not many teams have more all-time wins than the Longhorns. Although they are currently in a down period, you can rest assured they won't be down for long. Football is King in Texas, and The University of Texas has given their fans something to be proud of for years. Without a doubt they should be considered one of the best programs of all-time.

They have had some lean years lately but they've beaten the who's who of college football. 8-1 all time against Alabama, 2-1 against Ohio state ( overrated university). The talent they have produced and recruited such as Earl Campbell, Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Ricky Williams, Major Applewhite, Jamal Charles etc along with Mack holding a record for most consecutive ten win seasons speaks for itself.

Most dominant team of all time beat the 2 time reigning champs who were trying to make it a 3rd the cheating USC Trojans in 2005! Vincent Young

Hook'em Horns

The Contenders

11 Tennessee

"Won the most games"

LOL Tennessee hasn't won s h I t in the past 100 years besides Michigan is the winningest.

One of only 2 teams? Not anymore.

Even though they aren't doing good recently, they are historically one of the greatest college football teams.

Say what you want, but these Volunteers are over 800 wins, true not enough national titles or SEC titles but they sure do draw a crowd. Rocky Top Rules.

I'd put them around 10...although the past decade they have been HORRIBLE. Weird since they've stunk so bad without being on probation or something. Talk about falling off a cliff.

12 LSU

Lsu shouldn't be in this top ten. How did they get 2nd all time

We got some of the best players in the nfl right now

Tennessee should be above LSU.

A talent rich state and they get the loin's share from there as well as Mississippi and East Texas area.

13 Penn State

I know the NCAA took away 114 wins but let's be real, those games happened and Penn State won. How on earth did Oregon, Tennessee and LSU get higher on this list?

One of the best programs ever, rich history, rarely loses at home, beats big teams (Ohio State almost every year), rich history

Six undefeated seasons, two championships, and always seems to be at least good

Beasts of the East! Linebacker U! Top 10 winningest program of all time and if we say the last 50 years, they're top 5! JoePa turned a regionally good team, into a nation power and Penn State has been one of the very best since 1966! WE ARE...

14 Oregon

Oregon! ? are you kidding me they shouldn't be on this list anywhere unless you need a good example of how not to play defense.

Too young should not be in the top 20

They've only been good recently. Doesn't belong on a list with teams rich in tradition and history

Oregon isn't even better than USC, Washington, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona State and Utah Utes... Oregon has only made uniforms a dynamic change and also there spread option offense run n gun. That's it, not even deserving top 20

15 Army

They were this high 70 years ago.

16 Florida

Much better than teams such as West Virginia, Virginia (why are they even on the list), Georgia, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, LSU, and Florida State.

Hmm... Kansas Iowa UNC SYRACUSE MIAMI Ohio North Dakota Tennessee (Recently)! They all stink and should not be ahead of Florida 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 8 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS IS A GREAT FOOTBALL TEAM!

HOW IS PRINCETON ABOVE OF Florida?

Bull. Teams ahead of Florida that shouldn't be?
Auburn: Florida has more national titles and SEC Titles than Auburn.

West Virginia: Are you kidding me? They have NEVER won a championship.

Virginia: Again, NO championships.

Georgia: Has 2 championships, which is less than 3. Also, Georgia hasn't won the SEC in 11 years.

Army: Yeah, back in the 1940s...but not today.

Oregon: NO national championships at all, and they've had SEVERAL attempts. They're only ranked high because of their flashy uniforms.

Tennessee and Penn State: This is arguable. Florida has more championships than Penn State and leads the series against Tennessee. Toss up here.

LSU: Bandwagon central. People only like LSU because of Odell. LSU football was not on the map until Nick Saban came in 2000. Florida has had more All-Americans than LSU, way more division titles, and Florida leads the series against LSU.

FSU: Florida leads the series against FSU, and more ...more

17 Virginia

This program has not been consistantly decent in 15 years.

GO HOOS

18 Auburn

I heard Auburn had a losing record against the worst team in the SEC, Vanderbilt.

2010 BCS National Champions
3 Perfect Seasons in the last 17 years (more than any other team)

Best team not to win a national title the last 25 years.

Ownership of bama the last 30 years

19 Michigan State

We ought to be WAY higher on this list! We should at LEAST be ahead of those lowly, scumbag wolverines (intentionally left lowercase...) We win almost every year! Our main competitors are OHU who we win against roughly 50% of the time and PSU who we usually beat 60% of the time. Everyone else we beat 75+% of the time! Honestly! Put us in the top five ahead of these crap teams where we belong! When we play these other teams (except Alabama) we have (usually) a 90% chance of utterly trashing them! I know this glorious team deserves a higher spot on here. But, no matter the ranking, even if they deserve the #2 spot, they will keep on proving themselves. It all gets settled on the field. GO GREEN!

Wolverines suck! Go Green!

20 Syracuse

They may be really crappy now but look what they were, a national championship, BCS Contenders in the 90s. But sadly, they have lost talent, and the only thing people care about are the southern schools, Ohio State. And those wannabe national champions Oregon and try to look good with their uniforms

21 West Virginia

Best team ever back in the 80's

Best program
to never win a national championship( via win pct)

West Virginia, that's hillarious.

22 Georgia

Ga should be ranked higher on this list they are allways contenders winning is a tradition.

The university of Georgia is always a contender in the SEC, and should therefore be ranked much higher in this comparison.

Always have great recruiting and have the potential to win sec championship every year.

Should be in top 10

23 Clemson

Best program in US

24 Washington

1991 Washington Huskies

Needs to be way higher. Longest nonlosing streak in college football history and second biggest winning streak.

25 North Dakota
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