College football seems to be getting more and more segregated as time passes. The talk of the town is that the top-level teams, the haves, will form their own association, leaving the have-nots out in the cold. The chances of this happening are high, and we could see a total of about 60 to 50 programs left out of the 130 we have now.
The Perennial Powers, Contenders, and Former Greats are the three categories I have divided the top teams in college football into. The first group has 16 teams in it and the second 32, which were primarily during the Bowl Championship Series era.
However, this hierarchy of tiers still holds good because the college football teams have always followed a well-defined system. This system has a hierarchy that newer fans should be aware of. But there’s definitely more to be known beyond these tiers.
So, here we are, taking a closer look at the top teams that are most likely to make the cut in the association of 50+ teams that are being talked about. This is based on the All-Time Associated Press Poll which is loved by all for its historical perspective.
Oklahoma held the first spot in the All-Time Associated Press Poll for a long time. But, Alabama took over them and moved to the top position a couple of years ago, ranking up from outside of the top five in 2007. Following closely behind them is Ohio State at second place.
The rest of the teams have shifted around a lot, with just BYU winning a national title from the lower tiers over the last 50 years.
The third-tier consists of Former Greats, a group that isn’t quite in the mix anymore but still includes some familiar names. Two names that are clearly known include Army and Navy, so we have taken them out, leaving us with 47 programs in total.
The SEC has the majority of its teams on the list, including those who barley missed the cut, such as South Carolina and Mississippi State, to name a few.
The following programs have a fantastic argument for being included in the list of 50-plus: Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Duke, Boston College, Washington State, SMU, South Carolina, Oregon State, Louisville, Mississippi State, and Texas Tech.
Including these teams takes the tally to 60. The top programs that are still not in the mix include names such as Cincinnati, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Central Florida, Virginia, and Indiana.
The final move is to include the top 25 programs from the SEC and Big Ten with their incoming additions, Oklahoma and Texas, for the former and USC and UCLA for the latter. All-Time Associated Press Poll ranks 20 out of 25 programs with Notre Dame, three ACC programs, and one from the Pac-12 in them. With such a detailed breakdown, we have a better understanding of who’s making the cut and which teams and programs will be left behind.
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