Colleges With The Best Football Teams
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For many Americans, college football is not just a pastime but a way of life. More than 47.5 million fans flocked to stadiums to attend National Collegiate Athletic Association games in 2019, and TV broadcasts draw even more viewers. The 65 major college football teams that compete in the elite Power 5 conferences generate billions of dollars in revenue each year.
People watch sports not only for the spectacle, but also to cheer on their favorite teams, players, and coaches. As a student, attending games is also a great way to make new friends and show off your school spirit.
The following list contains 15 colleges with the best football teams. To qualify for this ranking, a team must have at least one national championship title, which can include titles obtained before the establishment of the modern NCAA era in 1955. We also consider factors like a team’s overall win percentage.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Total points: 711
Joe Paterno established a winning culture in Happy Valley with a winning tenure that’ll never be topped, but much of his legacy was tarnished by how it ended. Bill O’Brien was credited with pulling the program out of its dark time and giving way to James Franklin, who has brought Penn State back into the national conversation. With three 11-win seasons over the past five years, the Nittany Lions are confident the time is now. Penn State is out to prove last season’s fall from grace after a winless start through four games was a fluke.
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San Diego State University
On top of its prestigious academic programs and great location, San Diego State University boasts a successful football program and an enthusiastic football culture. The San Diego State Aztecs lay claim to 21 conference championships and three national championships. The school practices several traditions that allow students to get involved, including the Warrior Walk in which students accompany the football team and marching band on a walk to the stadium. SDSU is also planning to open a new on-campus football stadium by 2022, making it even easier for students to attend football games and show their support.
- Location: San Diego, CA
No 1: Texas Christian
Now that the TCU Horned Frogs have joined the Big 12, we’re going to start seeing much more purple on our nightly highlights.
But even though TCU has lived in the relative obscurity of the Mountain West for the last couple of decades doesn’t mean there aren’t some very famous Frogs in our midst.
Larry Brown, former Super Bowl MVP was a Horned Frog, as was Pro Bowler and former college coach Guy Morriss.
But perhaps the most famous TCU alum of the modern era is NFL superstar LaDainian Tomlinson, 2006 NFL MVP.
Famous Alumni Rating: C
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Ranking College Football’s 25 Best Programs Of All Time
What defines greatness in college football that stands the test of time? There are several programs with vast trophy cases, but many of those nationally-known powers are still trying to return to sustained success they saw decades ago while a handful of current teams seem to dominate each and every year.
Determining which college football programs have earned the right to be in the conversation for greatest of all-time was no easy task, but there is a way of eliminating some of the subjectivity from the equation. Using every final AP Top 25 Poll since 1935, College Football News has developed a formula to accurately rank the nation’s top programs.
From CFN: “Taking all the AP final rankings, CFN devised a scoring system giving every AP national champion 25 points, the No. 2 team 24, No. 3 23, and so on down to the bottom currently No. 25, but there was a top ten for a bit and later a top 20. Rankings from 1935 through to Clemsons national championship after the 2018 season.”
We’ve updated the rankings through the 2020 campaign entering Week 1 of the 2021 season.
You will recognize several bluebloods in these rankings, but there are a few others that may surprise you. The no-brainers near the top come in ahead of other nationally-significant programs with high expectations annually who are always in the mix to win a national championship:
25. Georgia Tech
24. Ole Miss
21. Texas A& M
19. Michigan State
The Nations Top Football Programs Rely Mainly On Three Financial Lifelines: Massive Broadcast Deals Legions Of Rabid Fans And The Backing Of Wealthyand Generousdonors
The Aggies edge out the cross-state rival Texas Longhorns for the No. 1 spot in fact, the two teams are tied in average annual football revenue, but the Aggies come out on top thanks to a slightly superior operating profit$94 million to $92 millionwhich we use as a tiebreaker .
Texas, long the sports financial juggernaut, has a national fan base that gives the school a tremendous amount of leverage when negotiating its corporate partnerships: The Texas athletic department counts some $43 million per year from royalties and licensing, blowing away the field . In addition,its Longhorn Network deal with ESPN will pay the school and its athletic department some $12 million this year.
Michigan, Alabama and Ohio State round out the top five most valuable college football programs. The Buckeyes and the Wolverines are first and second in average annual football ticket revenue , and each ranks among the top five in sponsorship income. Alabama, meanwhile, is one of just five teams to earn more than $30 million annually from media rights.
The importance of conference moneywhich also includes winnings from bowl games, including the College Football Playoff and the NCAA basketball tournamentcouldnt be on clearer display in our ranking: The SEC and the Big Ten dominate our list, combining for 17 of the 25 most valuable teams. No other conference has more than three teams in the top 25.
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Who Are The Top College Football Teams
While the best college football teams vary by season, some programs have experienced sustained levels of success on the field.
The University of Michigan features the winningest major football program in the nation, with 953 all-time victories as of the end of the 2019 season. The University of Alabama has won 17 national championships, the most of any school. The University of Michigan, the University of Southern California, and Notre Dame University have each won 11.
The University of Alabama’s dominance has been especially noteworthy over the past decade the school has won five national titles since 2009 alone. Clemson University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and The Ohio State University have also won championships within the past decade.
Who Is The Greatest Linebacker Of All Time
The 15 Greatest NFL Linebackers of All Time Chuck Bednarik. How good of a football player was Chuck Bednarik? Ray Nitschke. Ray Nitschke was your classic NFL goon and a complete linebacker. Dick Butkus. Bobby Bell. Willie Lanier. Jack Ham. Jack Lambert. Harry Carson. Mike Singletary. Lawrence Taylor.
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The 25 Top Football Schools In America
Are you ready to find your fit?
For many college students, Saturdays in Autumn are the apex of the college experience. Nothing beats the fun and camaraderie of making their way to the stadium hours before a game to eat, drink, and play with friends, or the electricity of thousands of fans cheering on the team in a big game, or the pride and excitement of reliving glorious moments in the teams past. Football has been a part of college experiences for almost 150 years. And while it has little bearing on the educational value of a school, it has tremendous influence in the life of college students and their ongoing allegiance to their alma maters. There is no doubt that for the football fan, football can have an affect on prospective students decisions as to which school they want to attend.
With that in mind, College Choice has compiled a list of the 25 best schools for college football. It will be no surprise that the list is filled with schools that have had success on the field in recent and distant history. But there is more to the football culture of a school than just on-field success. In compiling our ranking, we have taken into consideration four major categories: on-field success, alumni success, game-day experience, and culture and influence.
Ap College Football Poll Rankings: Greatest Programs Of All
By CollegeFootballNews.comJanuary 16, 2022 3:58 pm
By CollegeFootballNews.com | January 16, 2022 3:58 pm CT
According to the AP college football polls, where do all of the teams rank? Here are the top programs of all-time utilizing the APs final rankings.
The AP college football rankings have been the most consistent and reliable since 1936. No other ranking system provides a better historical snapshot of the last 90+ seasons. They just keep on marching along.
According to the AP final rankings for each season, how do all the college football teams rank since the start of the poll? According to the AP voters, what are the greatest programs of all-time?
Take all the AP final rankings and use our simple scoring system the AP national champion in each season gets 25 points, the No. 2 team 24, No. 3 23, and so on down to the bottom.
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Who Is The Best Linebacker In The Nfl
1) Bobby Wagner. While he just turned 31, Wagner is still the best inside linebacker in football. 2) Fred Warner. We went back and forth on whether Warner should be the top linebacker on our list, but we ultimately landed at No. 3) Eric Kendricks. 4) Darius Leonard. 5) Lavonte David. 6) Devin White. 7) Roquan Smith. 8) Demario Davis. 9) Deion Jones. 10) Tremaine Edmunds.
College Football Teams With The Most National Championships
The first college football national championship was in 1869, more than 150 years ago.
That season was eight days long and consisted of exactly two games: Princeton at Rutgers , and Rutgers at Princeton . Later, the Billingsley Report and the National Championship Foundation named Yale the first national champion, while in 1933, college football historian Parke H. Davis concluded that both Rutgers and Yale were co-champions.
Since that year, 187 national champions have been named, with some years seeing two or even three teams crowned.
In that span, only 44 teams can claim a college football championship.
Here, we look at the 10 teams who have more than five titles to their names:
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From Alabama To Wyoming We Look At The Top Division I Teams Nationwide
Choosing the best college football team in each state, as we at CBS Sports have done over the past several years, is rarely a uniform endeavor. But 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic made things even less static. Across every conference at every level, things were different. Some teams played close to a full schedule. Some teams never played at all. Yet, as we enter the 2021 season, our annual preseason task of choosing the best team in each state remains the same.
So what’s actually changed in our process? Not a ton. We still evaluated Division I programs from the FBS and FCS that cover 48 of 50 states. Alaska and Vermont are the only two states without a college football program at either of those levels , so they are being withheld. All others have at least one FBS or FCS football program.
Before we dive into our choices, a few guidelines:
- This is not a list of the programs that have had the most all-time success in each state.
- Instead, we took a deeper dive over the last three or four years. Results from 2020 were considered less in some cases due to COVID-19. Other considerations such as head-to-head matchups, championships won and the like were taken into account.
- This is not a projection of the upcoming season. It never has been and it never will be.
With that in mind, here are our choices for the top football program in each state. Did we get it right? Wrong? Check them out below.
Alaska — n/a
Vermont — n/a
Ranking Top 5 Juco Factories In Producing Sec Talent
Recruiting at the junior college level has become just as important, if not perhaps more important, than recruiting at the high school level in the modern era of college football.
Sometimes a JUCO product needed time to get his grades in order other times he just needed some seasoning before making the leap to major college football.
Whatever the case, certain junior colleges have established a reputation as promising football factories, and youd better believe these are the first places schools from the power conferences look when seeking new talent to restock their rosters.
With National Signing Day now two weeks behind us, SDS ranks the top JUCO football factories of the last five years as far as producing SEC talent is concerned.
5. Blinn College : Although its easy for a small school like Blinn to get lost in the shuffle in an enormous football state like Texas , the little junior college has produced some big time talents, and that trend is only more likely to continue now that the SEC has Texas ties in the form of Texas A& M. The results produced by Blinn products vary, but the school routinely puts out talent that major programs covet.
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So Much For Amateur Athleticsthe Sports 25 Most Valuable Programs Combine To Earn An Average Of $15 Billion In Profit On Annual Revenues Of $27 Billion
Clemsons ranking among the nations top programs is especially impressive because the Tigers dont have the benefit of massive conference distributions. Last year, the ACC distributed some $30 million per member school, neck-and-neck with the Pac-12 for the smallest payout among Power Five conferences. No wonder, then, that just one other ACC team cracks our top 25 . At least that revenue pipeline should soon widen, thanks to the new ACC Network, which began broadcasting this season. Neff wouldnt discuss exact numbers, but he says the network is already exceeding revenue projections, adding, We do anticipate a good uptick from last year to this year.
Until now, however, Clemson has largely relied on its school-specific revenue streams. And although contributions have made up the lions share of the recently increased revenues, the Tigers have been strong across the board.
Income from licensing and royalties was $13.6 million in 2017-18, up 68% from the year before Clemsons first championship game appearance. And that total doesnt take into account Clemsons new Nike deal last year the athletic department extended its apparel contract through 2027-28, with Nike now paying a 14% royalty rate, up from 11%. Between cash and the retail value of allotted gear, the company provides Clemson an average of $5.7 million annually, more than double the prior $2.6 million yearly payout.
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Two years ago Cade Mays transferred to Tennessee, his hometown team, where he would play alongside his brother. These days that would seem an obvious and uncontroversial move.
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Wisconsin Badgers Football Recruiting
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What Colleges Have Some Of The Best Football Traditions
Nearly all the best football colleges maintain unique traditions, many of which date back generations.
At the University of Texas at Austin, for example, a live steer named Bevo storms the field before each game and after each Longhorns score. The University of Oklahoma, meanwhile, maintains a similar tradition that features a replica horse-drawn wagon from the settler days.
Fans at some schools, such as The Pennsylvania State University and Texas A& M University, all wear the same color for a unifying effect on the most important home games of the year. At Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin Madison, fans jump and dance to “Jump Around,” which is a more recent yet no less memorable tradition that has become a favorite across the college football world.
New And Improved: Ranking 84 College Football Programs By Brand Value
One month ago, I ranked 73 college football programs by the value they bring in conference realignment, using four metrics: Home attendance, market size/share, valuation and social media following.
With the news this week that the Pac-12 will not expand, the Big 12 will almost certainly stay together and expand. So I wanted to update these rankings and add some more teams to get a more complete look.
First off, I added 11 more programs. I added Army, the rest of the AAC and 5 more Mountain West teams that have been even remotely linked to the Big 12 .
Theres only one program on this list that is a no-brainer for the Big 12, and thats BYU. The Cougars are the only team that ranks ahead of Kansas, and they also rank ahead of three other Big 12 teams.
The Big 12 needs to be careful about growing too big, because its going to see diminishing returns on those extra additions.
Its also surprising to see East Carolina so high on this list. Thats a program nobody seems to be talking about, but the Pirates have the best home attendance numbers in the AAC and rank right alongside their AAC peers in most other categories.
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