There’s a college football game today.

But don’t tell me about it. I’m not watching it until tomorrow.

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Which was the best decade/year/program of college football?

Bill Connelly at SB Nation put out a list of the best 50 college football teams since World War II (based on an estimated version of his S&P+ ratings). I was curious to see which decades and years had the most teams in the top 50. Since the 1940s only had five years worth of teams, and the 2010s only have six, their numbers get multiplied accordingly.

The Best* Decades of College Football

The best* decade of college football? The 1970s. Twelve teams from the 1970s made the top-50 list.

1. 1970s – 12 top-50 teams
2. 1940s (5 – doubled to account for the absence of teams from 1940-44)
3. 2010s (5 – multiplied by 1.66 to account for 2016-2019 seasons)
4. 2000s (9)

The Best* Seasons of College Football

Now to which seasons had the most great teams: The best* season of college football since WWII? 2008 with FOUR top-50 teams (Texas, USC, Florida, and Oklahoma).

1. 2008 – 4 top-50 teams
2. 1971, 1977, and 1980 (3)

The Best* Programs of All Time

Finally, which are the best* programs since WWII? Coming in first (no surprise): Alabama with seven top-50 teams.

1. Alabama – seven top-50 teams
2. Oklahoma (6)
3. USC (5)
4. Miami and Nebraska (4)
6. Florida St., Notre Dame, and Texas (3)

*”Best” is defined here as having the most top-50 teams of all time according to Bill Connelly’s rating system.

Who’s Really In? – College Football Playoff Rankings that Matter

Now that we have clarity on conference champions/championships, I’m going to apply some logic to the Playoff rankings from last week. The rankings will have some movement tomorrow, but we can take a look today at a set of rankings that actually means something.

The Committee has, in so many words, said that conference championships are one of the most important factors in deciding who’s in the Playoff. Therefore, it’s my belief that you must either win your conference, get second place, or that your only conference loss must be to the conference champion (better explanation here).

Here’s who is I believe should be eligible for the playoff and why.

  1. Clemson – Undefeated/possible ACC champion
  2. Alabama – Possible SEC champion
  3. Oklahoma – Big 12 Champion
  4. Iowa – Undefeated/possible Big Ten champion
  5. Michigan St. – Possible Big Ten champion
  6. Notre Dame – Because Notre Dame. And their two losses are to possible conference champions.
  7. Ohio St. – Their only conference loss was to Michigan St. (their division’s conference championship game representative)
  8. Stanford – Possible Pac-12 champion
  9. Florida – Possible SEC champion
  10. North Carolina – Possible ACC champion
  11. Navy – Only conference loss was to Houston (their division’s CCG representative)
  12. Temple – Possible AAC champion

No other teams matter. Obviously a four-loss USC or a runner-up in a G5 conference is not going to be in the Playoff. This is simply a list of those who were ranked and should be eligible for the final four.

My prediction: Clemson, Bama, OU, Michigan St.