Another completely bogus listing: niche.com ranked the 100 best college football programs – based on attendance, “student rankings”, bowl appearances, NCAA championships, and NFL alumni. “A high college football ranking indicates that the program has a rabid fan base, quality bowl games appearances, and a strong NFL alumni presence.” “This ranking looks at historical data and generally reflects the top college football programs since 2000.” That last sentence is the issue: you can’t rank on BOTH past and recent history.
Based on these factors a school that sent many players into the NFL back in the 30’s and 40’s that turned out to be all-pros and hall of famers (like Illinois) would school higher than a school that dominated the past ten years (Clemson or Michigan State). A higher ranking is given to a small school with just a few favorable survey responses than a larger school with hundreds of survey responses.
If you dare (or still care) read the list and let in sink in the teams that are ranked so far below other schools. Zero rhyme or reason to this list.
1. Ohio State
2. USC: OJ still making an impact
3. Florida: thanks to Spurrier (alum not coach)
4. Alabama: behind USC and Florida?
5. LSU: alum Billy Cannon
6. Oklahoma: ahead of the Noles?
7. FSU: Warrick Dunn
8. Miami: alums Jim Kelly and George Mira
9. Texas: 18 spots ahead of A&M?
10. Michigan: Gerald Ford, Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard, Tom Brady, Jim Harbaugh
11. Oregon: alum Joey Harrington?
12. Wisconsin: Ron Dayne
13. Notre Dame: having Hornung helped
14. Virginia Tech: Bruce Smith
15. Georgia: rank soars should Herschel makes HOF
16. Auburn: Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson, James Brooks
17. Stanford: Andrew Luck
18. Penn State: Curt Warner
19. Tennessee: Peyton
20. West Virginia
24. Utah: Merlin Olsen
25. Mount Union: 4.2 survey score but only 49 responded. Average attendance 3389. Four current NFL players and only 8 all-time – zero pro bowlers or hall of famers or BCS wins or appearances. Ranks ahead of Texas A&M and Clemson.
26. Appalachian State: better than…
27. Texas A&M
28. Illinois: Red Grange boosted Illini’s rank
29. UCLA: Mark Harmon
30. Boise State
31. North Dakota State: better than…
32. Texas Christian
32. Clemson: Steve Fuller, William Perry
34. Oklahoma State: Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas
36. Pitt: Marino, Dorsett, Larry Fitzgerald
38. Kansas State
39. Purdue: Bob Griese and Drew Brees
40. Syracuse: Jim Brown and Larry Czonka
41. Michigan State: behind Illinois? What about Bubba Smith? Seven national championships. Eight Big Ten championships, including two in the past four years. Ranked in the top 25 in attendance the past 59 straight years. All-Americans: 27; NFL HOF: 3; Currently in NFL: 32; NFL alumni: 40. If any school meets ALL the criteria, it would be Michigan State. Yet the Spartans are only ranked 41st. At least they're ahead of...
42. Wisconsin-Whitewater: avg attendance 5063, zero NFL players, hall of famers, BSC appearances, or wins - but 117 survey responses gave it a 3.9 out of 5.
43. Oregon State
44. Kansas: Gale Sayers
46. South Carolina: George Rogers
47. Maryland: Boomer, Frank Reich
48. Arizona State: Jake Plummer
49. Grand Valley State (who?)
50. Georgia Tech: data doesn’t count 2014 season (or Calvin Johnson or Demarius Thomas or George or Larry Morris)
51. Cal Berkeley: Steve Bartkowski
52. Missouri: SEC Division Champs
53. Colorado: Rick Telander, Hale Irwin
54. Washington State
55. Kentucky: George Blanda
56. Virginia: the Barber twins
59. Baylor: behind Montana and UConn?
60. NC State: Roman Gabriel
61. Mississippi State
62. Minnesota Twin Cities: better that Minnesota?
63. Valdosta State: better than BYU and Arizona?
65. Brigham Young: Jim McMahon
66. Wake Forest: Brian Piccalo
67. James Madison: beware of Vad
68. Georgia Southern: worse than Valdosta?
70. Texas Tech
73. Boston College: Matt Ryan
74. San Diego State: Marcus Faulk
75. Western Kentucky
77. Iowa State
80. Northern Illinois
81. Central Florida: Dante Culpepper
83. Eastern Washington
84. Mississippi College, Clinton MS
85. Duke: 2013 ACC Championship Game loser
86. Cal State Fresno: better than Northwestern & Ole Miss?
87. East Carolina
89. NW Missouri State
90. Minnesota: Dave Winfield picked baseball
91. Ole Miss: must’ve forgot about Archie and Eli
93. South Florida
94. Utah State
95. Houston: Andre Ware and David Klingler
96. Navy: Roger Staubach
97. Louisiana Tech: Terry Bradshaw, Phil Robertson
99. Colorado State
100. Temple: Bill Cosby doesn't count for much these days
Not listed: North Carolina or Grambling. Four Mississippi schools but not Southern Miss? I guess Brett Farve's contribution didn't count for much. And what about Marshall? Somewhere Randy Moss is protesting.