The Top 15 Most Prestigious College Football Programs

News - Tim Bond
Written by Tim Bond   
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 13:07

While I watched ESPN and their ramblings about who they felt were the most prestigious programs since 1936, I thought I would do the same just to see if it matches what ESPN did. The minor difference between what Ivan Maisel did and myself, he stopped at number 10. I am doing the top 15. 

Before I get to the rankings, I want to describe what I did and why I did it.

First I put restrictions on what programs could be eligible. Restrictions that will keep out teams that are not currently in the FBS division and/or teams that are fairly new to the division.

To be eligible a team had to be a current member of the FBS division and a member of the FBS division for at least 50 seasons from 1936. So teams that are currently members of the FBS division had to be a member since 1959.

Another thing I did was take only AP national champions from 1936-1997 and the BCS national champion from 1998 – present day. This denied split national championships being registered in my rankings. And since everyone lived and died by the AP before the BCS, what better ranking system to use prior to the BCS?

Finally, I added criteria and added a value to it. The criteria are: Winning Percentage, Bowl Winning Percentage, A Value for National Championships, A value for Wins per Season, and a Value for Undefeated Seasons. I put all these together and divided by 5 to get an average. That average became the rating. The higher the rating the better the ranking.'s Top 15 Most Prestigious Program:


Rank School W% BW% NC Value Wins Value UDS Value Total
1 Oklahoma 0.74756 0.58333 0.29771 0.11908 0.25518 0.400573662
2 Alabama 0.70752 0.55769 0.25518 0.11228 0.21265 0.369065156
3 Penn State 0.72652 0.67500 0.08506 0.09867 0.21265 0.359580489
4 Notre Dame 0.70618 0.46429 0.34024 0.09527 0.17012 0.355218396
5 Southern Cal 0.69353 0.61905 0.17012 0.10122 0.12759 0.342301543
6 Ohio State 0.74194 0.46154 0.21265 0.10292 0.17012 0.337833309
7 Nebraska 0.68605 0.51111 0.21265 0.10547 0.17012 0.337080405
8 Miami (FL) 0.64573 0.58065 0.21265 0.08336 0.12759 0.329994521
9 Texas 0.71053 0.54167 0.12759 0.10633 0.12759 0.322739596
10 Florida State 0.67073 0.59459 0.08506 0.08251 0.08506 0.303590900
11 Tennessee 0.70905 0.53191 0.08506 0.10633 0.08506 0.303481270
12 Michigan 0.71803 0.47368 0.08506 0.10803 0.12759 0.302478220
13 Georgia 0.66304 0.60227 0.04253 0.09016 0.08506 0.296613961
14 Auburn 0.63534 0.58824 0.04253 0.07996 0.12759 0.294730008
15 Louisiana State 0.63882 0.53750 0.12759 0.07911 0.04253 0.285109288




For a complete look at the rankings. Please click here

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