Top 5 College Football Programs of All Time
#5 Oklahoma University "Sooners"
• National Championships: 17
Notes: The Sooners have experienced their share of success. Notably, they have proven prolific at maximizing talent as they are home to six Heisman Trophy winners, including: Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008), and Baker Reagan Mayfield (2017). Like the Trojans and Crimson Tide, the Sooners have won and continued to win year in and year out.
#4 Notre Dame University "Fighting Irish"
• National Championships: 22
Notes: The seven Heisman winners who previously donned the uniform of the Fighting Irish were Angelo Bertelli (1943), John Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949), John Lattner (1953), Paul Hornung (1956), John Huarte (1964), and Tim Brown (1987). Though its been thirthy years since Notre Dame has fielded a Heisman talent, the program has managed to stay relevant and has competed for a national championship in every decade since Tim Brown. Not competing in a conference for ages never had a negative impact on Notre Dame. They were feared more than any other opponent because they played Notre Dame has played against the top talent from every conference (except the SEC).
#3 Yale University "Bulldogs"
• National Championships: 27
Notes: Being party to one of the greatest rivalries in sports helped Yale climb this list. The Harvard-Yale rivalry dates back more than 100 years and remains just as intense to this day. Despite having a new Ivy League foe to deal with each season, Yale has managed to march through their Ivy League competition and amass an impressive list of national accolades including over two dozen national championships and two Heisman winners Larry Kelley (1936), and Clint Frank (1937).
#2 University of Southern California (USC) "Trojans"
• National Championships: 11
Notes: In addition to the host of Trojan championships, USC is home to seven Heisman trophy winners including: Mike Garrett (1965), O.J. Simpson (1968), Charles White (1979), Marcus Allen (1981), Carson Palmer ( 2002), Matt Leinart (2004), and Reggie Bush (2005).
Similar to the ability of the Miami Hurricanes in the 80s to gather the bulk of Florida's high school talent on one team, USC manages to lure California's top talent on one roster. If there's a 5-star athlete who loves California sunshine, playing football, and grew up in the golden state, chances are they've suited up for the Trojans.
#1 University of Alabama "Crimson Tide"
• National Championships: 17 (arguably 21 total)