University of Alabama named top college football program of last 150 years; Auburn no. 20
The University of Alabama has been ranked as the best college football program over the last 150 years, with Auburn University also representing the Yellowhammer State well.
A report by ESPN’s Stats & Information Group used a formula based on the number of national championships, the winning percentage for the best 50 seasons in program history and the winning percentage over the past 150 years, with the most recent 50-year block being weighted heaviest, followed by 1919-1968 and then 1869-1918 coming in as holding the least weight.
Additional adjustments were made to account for discrepancies across divisions and eras, such as national championships below the FBS level counting at 50%, national championships before the poll era (1936) counting at 50% and winning percentages when a team was not in Division I being reduced by 10%.
Using ESPN’s formula, the University of Alabama was awarded a 74.9 rating.
ESPN outlined, “The Crimson Tide’s history is a panorama of strength and longevity: From Wallace Wade in 1925 to Nick Saban five times in the past decade, four coaches have won a national championship. Seven have won an SEC title. Twelve have at least one 10-win season. Everyone wins there — except Ears Whitworth (4-24-2, 1955-57). But Bama fans even love him. Without Ears, Bear Bryant wouldn’t have heard Mama call.”
The University of Notre Dame was ranked second with a 72.9 rating, followed by Ohio State at 69.6, the University of Oklahoma at 68.5 and the University of Southern California (USC) at 67.25.
𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓰𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻.
Alabama has been named the best college football program over the past 150 years. @espn
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) August 17, 2019
Auburn also received a high ranking, coming in at 20th best with a 56.82 rating.
The only current SEC schools ranked above Auburn, besides the Tide, were the University of Tennessee and Louisiana State University (LSU) at numbers 14 and 15 respectively.
ESPN wrote, “What’s it like to live in the shadow of the most successful program in the history of college football? Why, it’s pretty successful, thanks for asking, and War Eagle. The Tigers won national titles in 1957 and 2010, and stopped Alabama from playing for national titles with momentous upsets in 1972, 1989 and 2013 — and a true Tiger fan would have a hard time telling you which was more enjoyable. Auburn became a more successful program in the last generation, when the Tigers began playing home games on campus instead of in Birmingham, two hours away. The Tigers waited more than a century for a true home-field advantage.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn