Commentary

Prestige Rankings: Nos. 1-119

Updated: August 3, 2009, 9:52 AM ET
By Chris Fallica, Nick Loucks and Harold Shelton | ESPN Research

Who is No. 1? That debate rages weekly during each college football season, and often long after the season is over and the trophies have been handed out. The debate is as much a part of the annual ritual as the touchdowns, fight songs and bowl games.

If you think that process can spark a debate, try ranking each FBS team's all-time position in college football history.

But the ESPN Research Department devised a plan to settle the argument. Their system lets the numbers do the talking.

ESPN's Prestige Rankings are a numerical method of ranking the best FBS college football programs since the 1936 season. Point values were assigned for certain successes (win a national title, earn 25 points) and failures (get your program banned from the postseason, lose two points). They ran all the numbers through the computer to come up with the No. 1 program (and Nos. 2-119) of the past 73 seasons.

Here are the results:

1. Oklahoma: 1,986
2. USC: 1,897
3. Ohio State: 1,655
4. Notre Dame: 1,579
5. Nebraska: 1,553
6. Alabama: 1,534
7. Texas: 1,494
8. Michigan: 1,332
9. Florida State: 1,110
10. Miami: 1,109

11. Penn State: 1,088
12. Tennessee: 1,072
13. LSU: 926
14. Georgia: 888
15. Florida: 834
16. UCLA: 738
17. Washington: 634
18. Georgia Tech: 610
19. Arkansas: 604
20. Texas A&M: 584

21. Auburn: 579
22. Clemson: 486
22. Colorado: 486
24. Ole Miss: 477
25. Brigham Young: 476
26. Michigan State: 454
27. Pittsburgh: 444
28. Arizona State: 408
29. Syracuse: 407
30. Iowa: 368

T-31. Maryland: 352
T-31. TCU: 352
33. Minnesota: 341
34. Wisconsin: 317
35. West Virginia: 315
36. Missouri: 314
37. Virginia Tech: 303
38. Duke: 297
39. Army: 284
40. Boston College: 280

41. North Carolina: 277
42. Texas Tech: 267
43. Utah: 264
44. California: 260
45. Stanford: 242
46. Navy: 239
47. Houston: 229
48. Miami (Ohio): 220
49. Illinois: 219
50. Purdue: 210

51. Wyoming: 188
52. Toledo: 184
53. Oregon: 177
54. Boise State: 172
55. Fresno State: 169
56. Oregon State: 160
57. Air Force: 154
58. North Carolina State: 152
59. Louisville: 146
60. Arizona: 144

61. SMU: 138
62. Rice: 137
63. Baylor: 129
64. Tulsa: 123
65. Oklahoma State: 115
66. Virginia: 101
67. Southern Miss: 99
68. Bowling Green: 94
T-69. Kentucky: 86
T-69. Kansas: 86

T-71. San Diego State: 80
T-71. Nevada: 80
73. Hawaii: 75
74. San Jose State: 72
75. Colorado State: 69
76. Kansas State: 66
T-77. Washington State: 65
T-77. Central Michigan: 65
79. Marshall: 62
80. Northwestern: 60

81. Mississippi State: 59
82. Cincinnati: 58
83. South Carolina: 55
84. Ball State: 48
85. Troy: 40
86. East Carolina: 26
87. South Florida: 22
T-88. North Texas: 20
T-88. Florida Atlantic: 20
90. Connecticut: 17

91. UCF: 16
92. Louisiana Tech: 13
T-93. Ohio: 11
T-93. Tulane: 11
T-95. Utah State: 9
T-95. Middle Tennessee: 9
T-95. Wake Forest: 9
98. Western Michigan: 7
99. Northern Illinois: 6
100. UNLV: 1

101. Rutgers: minus-6
102. Indiana: minus-8
103. Buffalo: minus-11
104. New Mexico: minus-14
T-105. UAB: minus-15
T-105. Florida International: minus-15
107. Arkansas State: minus-17
108. Akron: minus-21
109. UL Lafayette: minus-23
110. Memphis: minus-24

111. UTEP: minus-26
112. UL Monroe: minus-27
113. Eastern Michigan: minus-36
114. Iowa State: minus-53
115. Temple: minus-56
116. Kent State: minus-59
117. New Mexico State: minus-60
118. Idaho: minus-64
119. Vanderbilt: minus-73

Chris Fallica, Nick Loucks and Harold Shelton are researchers at ESPN.