ESPN has finalized its countdown of the most “prestigious” programs in college football history. Based on a questionable point system, the results are interesting. Not a single SEC team in the top-5:
Here’s how SEC teams fared:
Ok, there’s little argument that Alabama should be ranked higher than #6 because the last decade of Crimson Tide football has been horrible. Furthermore, the Tide has not won a “major” bowl since the ’92 Sugar Bowl! In fact, based on ESPN’s point system, if this list had been compiled at the end of the 20th century, Alabama would be ranked between in the top-4, possibly as high as #2. Of course, the past ten years is just as important (arguably more important) than the many years before. So Alabama’s ranking is fairly accurate.
But something smells about this list.
– Sure, Oklahoma (#1) and USC (#2) are probably two of the greatest programs in college football history. But both schools racked up dozens and dozens of points based on “weeks ranked #1 in the AP,” which awards two points each week as the top-ranked team. Well, sure (and this applies to USC more than Oklahoma), when the sportswriters, most of whom vote based on image rather than logic, pick a squad to be #1 at the beginning of a season, and that team plays a joke of a schedule, then it will accumulate many points just for being the sexiest pick at the beginning of a season.
– Notre Dame somehow sneaks in at #4 mostly based on everything it accomplished before 1970. Not too much argument against this…the program in South Bend was pretty damn successful so long ago. Hell, Alabama racked up a lot of points that way too.
– How. In. The Hell. Is Florida only ranked #15??? Notably, the Gators were bad before Steve Spurrier stepped onto campus in the early ’60’s and mediocre between his exit and the late ’80’s when Emmit Smith began his college career. But ESPN’s point system gives little credit for Florida’s successful run in the ’90’s.
In fact, based on decade, UF is the #20 school from 1988-1998! WHAT??? Numerous weeks at #1, 10-win seasons, SEC Championships, SEC title game berths, a national title in ’96. A Heisman Trophy winner (Danny Wuerffel in ’96).
For the Gators to be only #20 from ’88 to ’98 is absurd, even based on this shady point scale.
Did the ESPN research team miscalculate? Florida’s two national championships and Heisman Trophy winner (Tim Tebow in ’07) during the last three years didn’t help any?
Even stranger, in the all-time rankings, Georgia is one slot ahead of Florida! Take away Hershel Walker and the Bulldogs are an overall mediocre program with some success based on 10-win seasons in the last few years!
– Vandy is #119. Dead last. In all of college football. Nobody can argue the ‘Dores deserve to breach the top-100 of most “prestigious” programs of all-time, but Arkansas State, U-La-La, Louisiana Monroe, and Idaho are better???
Something went wrong with these rankings. Nice try by ESPN to base it upon numbers, but if they’re not the right ones even numbers can lie. See the BCS.