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|
|5. Virginia Tech||88.68||71||955||15/10/14||21||180|
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:
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock