Elite 50: Ranking the Nation's Top College Football Programs

Get better at the sports you play and the life you lead at STACK. Improve your training, nutrition and lifestyle with daily

In STACK's football rankings, we take you beyond the BCS to reveal what truly makes a college football program great. To come up with our list of the top 10 football programs, we consider a variety of factors—not just wins and losses, but also academic rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Academic Progress Rates. The result is a list of schools we'd recommend to any football player seeking an elite athletic program and a strong education. Learn more about how we arrived at our rankings through the Elite 50 guide, and browse through STACK's rankings for 20 other sports at the bottom of this page.

STACK's Top Football Schools

Read More >>

STACK Elite 50 Colleges

In STACK's football rankings, we take you beyond the BCS to reveal what truly makes a college football program great. To come up with our list of the top 10 football programs, we consider a variety of factors—not just wins and losses, but also academic rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Academic Progress Rates. The result is a list of schools we'd recommend to any football player seeking an elite athletic program and a strong education. Learn more about how we arrived at our rankings through the Elite 50 guide, and browse through STACK's rankings for 20 other sports at the bottom of this page.


STACK's Top Football Schools

College Score '12 U.S. News Rank APR [Out of 1,000] National Ranking '10/'09/'08 Games Above .500 [Past 3 Seasons] STACK Factor
1. Florida 100 58 976 NR/3/1 27 144
2. Alabama 96.93 75 963 11/1/6 31 60
3. TCU 95.55 97 972 2/6/7 33 24
4. Stanford 93.37 5 977 4/NR/NR 12 192
5. Virginia Tech 88.68 71 955 15/10/14 21 180
6. Texas 84.96 45 941 NR/2/3 21 144
7. Oregon 78.17 101 941 3/11/9 25 72
8. Oklahoma 76.80 101 960 6/NR/5 23 120
9. Wisconsin 72.27 42 967 8/16/NR 17 72
10. Missouri 52.71 90 967 18/NR/16 19 72
Andrew Luck
Stanford Football


Inside the Rankings: Stanford Football
By now, many are familiar with the Stanford football story. The Cardinal went 1-11 in '06 before hiring Jim Harbaugh (now the coach of the San Francisco 49ers). They improved year by year before going 12-1 last season and finishing fourth in the final BCS poll following an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. Incredibly, that victory was Stanford's first bowl win in over 15 years. They're led by All-American and Heisman candidate Andrew Luck, considered to be the prototype NFL QB.

What you probably don't know is how important Shannon Turley, sports performance coordinator for football, has been to the team's success. Turley joined up in 2007, the same year as Harbaugh, and promptly installed a strength program that incorporates moving unorthodox objects along with traditional weightlifting. Players have, on occasion, pushed a wheelbarrow full of other players or coaches up a hill for conditioning. Turley ends workouts with a drill called "Take the Rope," a version of tug of war. A player tries to pull a thick rope away from a group of players holding the other end.

Now led by former assistant David Shaw, the Cardinal continue to lead the Pac-12 in the gym, on the field and in the classroom.

Check out the rest of STACK's college rankings:

Hockey Softball Men's Cross Country Women's Cross Country
Volleyball Women's Track Men's Golf Men's Swimming
Men's Basketball Men's Track Women's Golf Women's Swimming
Women's Basketball Men's Soccer Men's Tennis Wrestling
Baseball Women's Soccer Women's Tennis Lacrosse

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | NEWS