This is the definitive list of the top college football programs of all time.
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- LSU – 3 National Championships: 1958, 2003, 2007.
- Heisman Trophy Winner: Billy Cannon.
- Texas – 4 National Championships: 1963, 1969, 1970, 2005.
- Pitt – 4 National Championships: 1916, 1918, 1937, 1976
- Heisman Trophy Winner: Tony Dorsett. Alumni: Glenn “Pop” Warner, Mike Ditka, Tony Siragusa, Dan Marino, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.
- 4 National Championships: 1910, 1960, 1984, 1990
A few notes on the methodology used to rank the top ten. First, there is no absolute criteria. For example, Michigan’s national championships in the years 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, have little value. To give some perspective, here are some of teams USC played during those years: Cal Tech, Los Angeles HS, Whittier Reform, National Guard Company F, and in one game USC’s head coach played for the opposing team. Football was barely a sport during these early years. So a national title in 2002 is much more impressive then 1902.
Second, longevity is an important criteria. Street & Smith list Yale and Princeton, but these programs have absolutely no chance of competing today. So despite their contributions to the early years of college football, they do not belong on the list.
Third, because there are subjective criteria, the debates will always continue.
Let the debate begin.