Category: History

Greatest College Football Programs of All-Time

Who Are the Greatest College Football Programs Ever? 

Despite the abundance of change that the college football landscape has undergone over the past century or so, the universities at the top have more or less remained consistent. In spite of all of the Cinderella stories that teams have been able to put together on occasion, a 2016 college football fan can agree that there are only a dozen or so programs that can be labeled as truly great. With all things considered, here are the greatest college football programs of all-time:

1-Ohio State University

Quite frankly, you simply cannot find a college football team that has won more consistently than the Buckeyes. With 308 total players sent to the NFL and 54 of them appearing on a Super Bowl roster, the Scarlet and Gray have been a model of consistency throughout their years. While maintaining an 883–321–53 all-time record, Ohio State has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners, and sent 10 alumni to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Notable alumni: Archie Griffin, Troy Smith, Bill Willis
National Championships: 8 (1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014)

2-University of Alabama

Despite Alabama’s admirable recent success, in truth their winning tradition started well before Nick Saban ever stepped foot on campus in Tuscaloosa. Home to more college football championships than any other division I program, Alabama has evolved to be a byproduct of an intensely competitive Southeastern Conference, and always seem to be in the argument as one of the top teams come the end of every season. Boasting an overall 869-326-43 record, the Crimson Tide have two recent Heisman Trophy winners (Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry), as well as eight players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Oh yeah, and their current head coach is looking to add-on to his running 114-18 record at the storied university.
Notable alumni: Bear Bryant, Ken Stabler, Joe Namath
National Championships: 10 (1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015)

3-University of OklahomaWith an impressive list of 76 Consensus All-Americans and five Heisman winners, the University of Oklahoma’s long tradition of excellence out of the Big 12 Conference is impressive to say the very least. With origins before Oklahoma even became an official state, the program has exploded to amount more 11+ win seasons as well as fewer losing seasons than any other program in college football history. This consistency not only rivals Ohio State, but also includes four separate coaches who were able to amass more than 100 wins at the helm (Bob Stoops, Barry Switzer, Bud Wilkinson, and Bennie Owen). Perhaps the most astounding sequence of Oklahoma’s storied history is the 14 consecutive conference championships between the 1946 and 1959 seasons.
Notable alumni: Adrian Peterson, Tommy McDonald, Billy Sims
National Championships: 7 (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000)

4-University of Notre Dame

Being independent of a conference has not stopped the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from amassing an 895–319–42 all- time record and establishing themselves as one of the most reputable programs in college football history. A program rich with tradition, the Fighting Irish’s’ resume includes 117 Consensus All-Americans as well as seven Heisman winners. While the Blue and Gold have enjoyed plenty of success on the field, they are also the only university to have maintained a television contract with a major network, as all of their games have been aired on NBC since 1991.

Notable alumni: Joe Montana, Jerome Bettis, Alan Page
National Championships: 11 (1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988)