Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Most Successful Top Division College Football Programs of the Past 50 Years

We recently posted our program rankings based on the past 50 years of data. That ranking weighted recent success more heavily, as we felt that a highly ranked program should have a combination of recent success and a tradition of winning. However, another way of ranking the programs is to find out which programs have had the most success overall during the past 50 years. In other words, in the average year during the past 50 years, which teams have had the most success (regardless of whether that success came in 1961 or 2010)?

Figured that way, here are our rankings of the most successful football programs over the last 50 years. In order to be included in the rankings, a college had to sponsor football at the highest division level for at least 5 years during the decades in question. Only those years where the team competed in the top division of NCAA football were included in our calculations. As is our practice, teams are always listed with their most current mascot, even if they had a different mascot during the period of time being ranked. (It's just easier for us to keep track of things that way.)

1. Nebraska Cornhuskers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
4. USC Trojans
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. Texas Longhorns
8. Florida Gators
9. Michigan Wolverines
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11. Florida State Seminoles
12. Tennessee Volunteers
13. Georgia Bulldogs
14. Auburn Tigers
15. LSU Tigers
16. Arkansas Razorbacks
17. Miami Hurricanes
18. UCLA Bruins
19. Arizona State Sun Devils
20. Boise State Broncos
21. Dartmouth Big Green
22. Washington Huskies
23. Yale Bulldogs
24. Texas A&M Aggies
25. Michigan State Spartans
26. Clemson Tigers
27. West Virginia Mountaineers
28. Virginia Tech Hokies
29. BYU Cougars
30. Ole Miss Rebels
31. McNeese State Cowboys
32. Colorado Buffaloes
33. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
34. Boston College Eagles
35. Stanford Cardinal
36. Texas Tech Red Raiders
37. Missouri Tigers
38. Syracuse Orange
39. Harvard Crimson
40. Oregon Ducks
41. Arizona Wildcats
42. South Florida Bulls
43. Purdue Boilermakers
44. North Carolina Tar Heels
45. NC State Wolfpack
46. South Carolina Gamecocks
47. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
48. Pittsburgh Panthers
49. Oklahoma State Cowboys
50. Maryland Terrapins
51. Houston Cougars
52. Iowa Hawkeyes
53. California Golden Bears
54. Wisconsin Badgers
55. Mississippi State Bulldogs
56. Miami University RedHawks
57. Utah Utes
58. Princeton Tigers
59. San Diego State Aztecs
60. Air Force Falcons
61. Fresno State Bulldogs
62. Minnesota Golden Gophers
63. Tampa Spartans
64. Kentucky Wildcats
65. Bowling Green Falcons
66. Virginia Cavaliers
67. Kansas Jayhawks
68. ECU Pirates
69. Washington State Cougars
70. Wyoming Cowboys
71. Illinois Fighting Illini
72. Hawaii Warriors
73. Baylor Bears
74. Louisville Cardinals
75. Memphis Tigers
76. Cornell Big Red
77. Toledo Rockets
78. Kansas State Wildcats
79. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
80. Oregon State Beavers
81. Connecticut Huskies
82. Central Michigan Chippewas
83. TCU Horned Frogs
84. Cincinnati Bearcats
85. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
86. UCF Knights
87. Troy Trojans
88. Nevada Wolf Pack
89. Iowa State Cyclones
90. Navy Midshipmen
91. SMU Mustangs
92. Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs
93. Villanova Wildcats
94. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
95. Colgate Raiders
96. Western Michigan Broncos
97. Colorado State Rams
98. Appalachian State Mountaineers
99. Indiana Hoosiers
100. Duke Blue Devils
101. Utah State Aggies
102. West Texas A&M Buffaloes
103. New Mexico Lobos
104. Ball State Cardinals
105. San Jose State Spartans
106. Long Beach State 49ers
107. Temple Owls
108. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
109. Northwestern Wildcats
110. Brown Bears
111. Army Black Knights
112. Indiana State Sycamores
113. Ohio Bobcats
114. Western Carolina Catamounts
115. Tulane Green Wave
116. Texas-Arlington Mavericks
117. North Texas Mean Green
118. Vanderbilt Commodores
119. Furman Paladins
120. William & Mary Tribe
121. Citadel Bulldogs
122. Richmond Spiders
123. Northern Illinois Huskies
124. Rice Owls
125. Marshall Thundering Herd
126. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
127. Holy Cross Crusaders
128. UAB Blazers
129. George Washington Colonials
130. Dayton Flyers
131. UNLV Rebels
132. Pennsylvania Relays
133. Xavier Musketeers
134. Florida Atlantic Owls
135. Southern Illinois Salukis
136. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
137. UTEP Miners
138. Columbia Lions
139. Pacific Tigers
140. VMI Keydets
141. Lamar Cardinals
142. Kent State Golden Flashes
143. Buffalo Bulls
144. Arkansas State Red Wolves
145. Drake Bulldogs
146. Cal State Fullerton Titans
147. Akron Zips
148. Idaho Vandals
149. Wichita State Shockers
150. New Mexico State Aggies
151. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
152. Illinois State Redbirds
153. Eastern Michigan Eagles
154. Davidson Wildcats
155. FIU Golden Panthers

Special thanks to James Howell's College Football Scores, which provided much of the data for our analysis.

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