College football is a beloved institution in the United States, with diehard fans filling stadiums across the nation every week. But which football programs consistently rise to the top of the rankings year after year? Here are the top five football programs in the nation, based on their success on the field, their fanbase, and their impact on college football as a whole.
1. University of Alabama
It’s hard to deny that the University of Alabama football program is the best in the nation. Under the leadership of head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide have won six national championships since 2009 – an unprecedented feat in the modern era of college football. Their fans are passionate and loyal, and the Tide continues to bring in top-tier recruits year after year.
2. Ohio State University
Ohio State’s football program is a powerhouse, with multiple national championships and countless conference titles under its belt. The Buckeyes have one of the largest fanbases in college football, and their stadium is regularly filled to capacity with more than 100,000 fans cheering them on. Head coach Ryan Day has continued to build on the success of his predecessor, Urban Meyer, and continues to recruit top talent from across the country.
3. University of Oklahoma
The Sooners have been one of the most successful programs in college football history, with seven national championships and dozens of conference titles to their name. In recent years, they’ve been particularly dominant in the Big 12, winning five consecutive conference titles from 2015-2019. Head coach Lincoln Riley has established Oklahoma as one of the premier offensive teams in the country, and the Sooners consistently pull in some of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
4. University of Texas
Despite a few down years recently, the Longhorns remain one of the most iconic football programs in the country. Texas has won four national championships and more than two dozen conference titles, and their loyal fanbase has helped them become one of the wealthiest programs in college football. Head coach Steve Sarkisian takes over the program this year, and Longhorn fans are hopeful that he can bring them back to national prominence.
5. University of Southern California
USC has one of the richest football traditions in college football, with 11 national championships and a slew of legendary players passing through their program over the years. Though they’ve struggled in recent years, the Trojans remain one of the most recognizable football programs in the country. New head coach Lincoln Riley, who was previously at Oklahoma, has brought renewed optimism to the program and Trojan fans are eagerly anticipating his first season in Los Angeles.
While there are certainly other great football programs in the country, these five stand out for their consistent success on the field, their passionate fanbases, and their impact on the larger world of college football. Whether you’re rooting for the Tide or the Buckeyes, the Sooners or the Longhorns, or the Trojans, there’s nothing quite like college football.