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

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.

Alabama is the best team on this list clearly, but there is so much wrong with this list... USC is way to low, Miami & LSU shouldn't be in the top 10, and finally, Ohio State is WAY too high... Not enough national titles, they don't have a winning bowl record, nor do they have enough bowl appearances... This is a more appropriate list...
1: Alabama
2: Norte Dame
3: USC
4: Oklahoma
5: Michigan
6: Ohio State
7: Texas
8: Nebraska

V 56 Comments
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!

Ohio State was the first team to win the College Football Playoff. They have won 8 national titles, 886 games, 6 players who won the heisman trophy (Including the only 2-time winner), 418 players drafted in the NFL, the third most in the entire nation, and more weeks ranked in the AP Polls than any other team. They are also one of two teams to have never lost at least 8 games in a season, the other being Tennessee, and out of both of these teams, Ohio State will probably outrun Tennessee in that record.

V 15 Comments
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

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. - byronshell

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.

They won more national championships than Alabama, have more heisman winners (not including Two-Timers) than any other team, And more NFL Draftees than any other team except for USC.

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4 Michigan

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!

SUCKEYES are #1 at what? Do your home work AP...they are not #1 in anything over Michigan!

V 18 Comments
5 Oklahoma

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.

Always a football powerhouse but had a few down years in 90's.

Boomer Sooner best in the nation! Just look at the list of legends that come from Norman... No one else competes.

To the moron that said Oklahoma plays virtually no one, study your history son. OU played Texas and Nebraska almost every year for 100 years. Name another top 8 program that had to get through 2 other top 8 programs (and yes regardless of what this list says, OU, Nebraska, and Texas are all top 8 programs all time) every year for the majority of their existence. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

V 6 Comments
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

Look at the score board

V 4 Comments
7 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.

It's all about the U! Just look at all these NFL superstars from the 90s' and yeah, no doubt.

V 9 Comments
8 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 - BigRedHusker

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.

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

Should be higher... 27 all-time records

V 5 Comments
9 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.

V 2 Comments
10 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

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

V 1 Comment

The Newcomers

? Kentucky Kentucky

Had bear Bryant in the 50s, and plays in the SEC

? Clemson

The Contenders

11 Tennessee

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.

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.

Won the most games since the NCAA was founded, and is one of the only 2 teams that never lost 8 or more games in a season. Ohio State was the other one.

Great team, but garbage compared to the big teams like Alabama and Ohio State because they never won a heisman trophy.

V 10 Comments
12 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

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

If we had Alabama's attitude about claiming National Championships, we would have at least 12! PSU is 3rd in wins since 1950 and has gone 15-9 since getting the worse sanctions in NCAA history (minus SMU)! Penn State will be back as a Title contender in a few years.

V 6 Comments
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

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

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

V 2 Comments
15 Georgia

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.

The University of Georgia, usually gets stoppeon their way to the national championship but ware a SEC powerhouse

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16 Virginia V 1 Comment
17 West Virginia V 2 Comments
18 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! - peaceswagtv

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 - peaceswagtv

V 3 Comments
19 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

V 2 Comments
20 Army V 1 Comment
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List StatsUpdated 22 Feb 2017

800 votes
45 listings
9 years, 173 days old

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