What You Expect’s Top 10 College Football Teams of All-Time


  • Record: 15-0 (8-0 ACC)
  • Coach: Dabo Swinney
  • Freshmen sensations Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne take over the college scene.
  • Trevor Lawrence throws for 3,280 yards and 30 passing touchdowns.
  • Travis Etienne rushes for 1,658 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.
  • Clemson’s stifling defense allowed only 13 PPG.
  • Notable Players: QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, WR Tee Higgins, WR Hunter Renfrow, WR Justyn Ross, WR Amari Rodgers, DE Austin Bryant, DT Christian Wilkins, DT Dexter Lawrence, S Isaiah Simmons, CB AJ Terrell, CB Trayvon Mullen
  • Natty: YES (def. Alabama 44-16)


  • Record: 9-0 (6-0 BIG9)
  • Popularized “Ironmen”, one of the first teams to have players play on both sides of the ball.
  • Shut out USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl.
  • Nicknamed the “Mad Magicians” for their single-wing formation.
  • Five shutouts on the season.
  • Five players from this team enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Notable Players: HB Bob Chappuis, QB Pete Elliott, QB Howard Yerges, DE Len Ford, T Al Wistert, FB Jack Weisenburger, T Bruce Hilikene
  • Natty: YES (def. USC 49-0)


  • Record: 12-0 (6-0 SEC)
  • The final National Championship for the iconic head coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant
  • This Crimson Tide offense scored 30+ points in 7 games throughout the season
  • The Tide defense caused five shut outs and only two teams could score in the double digits against them – Tennessee and Auburn
  • Notable Players: QB Steadman Shealy, RB Billy Jackson, RB Amos Jones, T Jim Bunch, C Dwight Stevenson, DT Curtis McGriff, DT Byron Braggs, LB Randy Scott, LB Tom Boyd, CB Don McNeal, S Eddie Lowe, K Alan McElroy
  • Natty: YES (def. Arkansas 24-9)


  • Record: 12-0 (8-0 BIG10)
  • Coach: Joe Paterno
  • The only team on this list that was not a National Champion.
  • Since the BCS wasn’t established yet, it was possible for two undefeated teams to NOT face each other for the National Title. Instead, Penn State faced Oregon in the Rose Bowl, and Nebraska, the other undefeated team, faced Miami in the Orange Bowl. Making Penn State vs Nebraska arguably the greatest game never played.
  • Kerry Collins threw for 2,679 yards and 21 passing touchdowns. Star running back Ki-Jana Carter rushed for 1,539 yards and averaged 7.8 yards a carry. Bobby Engram hauled in 1,029 receiving yards that season.
  • Five First Team All-Americans on this Nittany Lions team.
  • The Nittany Lion offensive line was very stout all year as Kerry Collins was only sacked five times that season.
  • Outscored opponents 258-86 in the first five games of the season.
  • Notable Players: QB Kerry Collins, RB Ki-Jana Carter, RB Brian Milne, RB Mike Archie, WR Bobby Engram, WR Joe Jurevicius, TE Kyle Brady, C Marco Rivera, G Jeff Hartings, DE Chris Snyder, DT Brandon Noble, LB Terry Killens, Jim Nelson, S Marlon Forbes, K Brett Conway
  • Natty: NO (thanks to favoritism and computer shenanigans)


  • Record: 12-1 (8-1 SEC)
  • Coach: Nick Saban
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 4
  • The defense allowed 8 PPG
  • Natty: YES (def. LSU 21-0)
  • Notable Players: QB AJ McCarron, RB Trent Richardson, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Marquis Maze, T DJ Fluker, C Barrett Jones, LB Courtney Upshaw, LB D’onta Hightower, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, S Mark Barron, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

One of the most complete defenses in college football history, this Alabama team became the first defense since 1986 to lead the nation in every major statistical category. The 2011 Crimson Tide shut out SEC rival LSU in the National Championship Game, revenging their lone loss – at the hands of the Tigers – of the regular season. Only one team, Georgia Southern, surprisingly, scored over 20 points on this Crimson Tide team.


  • Record: (14-0) (8-0 ACC)
  • Coach: Jimbo Fisher
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 4
  • The offense was second in the nation with 51 PPG. The defense ranked first with 12 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. Auburn 34-31)
  • Notable Players: QB Jameis Winston, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Rashad Greene, TE Nick O’Leary, T Cameron Irving, C Bryan Stork, DT Timmy Jernigan, LB Telvin Smith, LB Christian Jones, CB Ronald Darby, CB PJ Williams, S LaMarcus Joyner, S Jalen Ramsey, K Roberto Aguayo

Went unconquered this season. Freshman QB Jameis Winston became the youngest Heisman winner at the time. A whopping 25 players from this team went on to play in the NFL, including every defensive starter. One of the best offenses to take the field in college football history, these Seminoles scored 723 points making them one of the highest-scoring teams in college football history.


  • Record: 13-1 (7-1 SEC)
  • Coach: Urban Meyer
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 6
  • The offense ranked fourth in the nation with 43 PPG. The defense was also ranked fourth with 12 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. Oklahoma 24-14)
  • Notable Players: QB Tim Tebow, QB Cam Newton, RB Jeff Demps, RB Chris Rainey, WR Percy Harvin, WR Louis Murphy Jr, WR Riley Cooper, TE Aaron Hernandez, C Maurkice Pouncey, G Mike Pouncey, DE Jermaine Cunningham, DE Justin Trattou, DE Carlos Dunlap, MLB Brandon Spikes, CB Joe Haden, CB Janoris Jenkins, S Ahmad Black, S Major Wright, S, Will Hill, K Caleb Sturgis, P Chas Henry

After an upset loss to Ole Miss, Tim Tebow delivered the legendary “I Promise” speech, and the 13-1 Florida Gators never lost again that season. Urban Meyer’s squad was dominant, beating six ranked teams by a combined score of 256-86. QB Tim Tebow had a stellar season as well racking up 2,746 passing yards, 673 rushing yards, and a combined 42 touchdowns. To complement, the Gator defense came away with 26 interceptions and 34 sacks. Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer, a literal cheat code that defenses couldn’t solve.


  • Record: 13-0 (8-0 BIG12)
  • Coach: Mack Brown
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 4
  • The offense led the country averaging 50 PPG. The defense was ninth with 16 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. USC 41-38)
  • Notable Players: QB Vince Young, RB Jamaal Charles, WR Limas Sweed, WR Quan Cosby, TE David Thomas, DE Brian Robison, DE Brian Orakpo, CB Tarell Brown, CB Cedric Griffin, S Aaron Ross, S Michael Huff, S Michael Griffin

The Longhorns won the 2006 Rose Bowl, which is arguably the greatest college game ever played, ending USC’s run of title dominance in the process. Vince Young became the first quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards. Running back Jamaal Charles also eclipsed the century mark in all-purpose yards.

Texas was the only team to finish the year undefeated that season. This Longhorns offense scored 652 points this season, an college football record at the time, and is considered one of the greatest offenses ever. Mack Brown’s squad also saw 24 players from this team go on to play in the NFL.


  • Record: 13-0 (8-0 PAC10)
  • Coach: Pete Carroll
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 3
  • The offense ranked sixth with 38 PPG. The defense was ranked third with 13 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. Oklahoma 55-19)
  • Notable Players: QB Matt Leinart, QB Matt Cassel, RB Reggie Bush, RB LenDale White, WR Steve Smith, WR Dwayne Jarrett, TE Dominique Byrd, DE Lawrence Jackson, DT Shaun Cody, LB Keith Rivers, LB Lofa Tatupu, CB Terrell Thomas, S Darnell Bing

Matt Leinart won the Heisman – and basically every award a QB could win – this season. Reggie Bush had over 2,300 all-purpose yards and 16 total touchdowns. Fellow running back LenDale White had 1,103 rushing yards. The Trojans would go on to blow out Oklahoma in the National Championship game, 55-19. Unquestionably the best team in the nation all season, Southern Cal never ranked lower than #1. To cap off a spectacular season, a school-record six Trojans were named All Americans.

5. 2019 LSU TIGERS

  • Record: 15-0 (8-0 SEC)
  • Coach: Ed Orgeron
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 7
  • The offense led the nation with 48 PPG
  • Natty: YES (def. Clemson 42-25)
  • Notable Players: QB Joe Burrow, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, WR JaMarr Chase, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Terrance Marshall Jr, TE Thaddeus Moss, LB Patrick Queen, LB K’Lavon Chaisson, LB Michael Divinity Jr, CB Derek Stingley Jr, CB Kary Vincent Jr, CB Kristian Fulton, S JaCoby Stevens

A record-setting team, this LSU team had a season to remember. This team was so dominant, scoring 726 points on the season, and never put up under 36 points. With a 15-0 record, they defeated seven Top 10 teams this season. Joe Burrow had 5,671 passing yards and 60 passing touchdowns, along with a passer rating of 202.0, records that will arguably never be broken.

Burrow would also win the Heisman this season, the greatest landslide ever in the history of the award. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for over 1,400 yards. Receivers JaMarr Chase and Justin Jefferson made a case this season for the best duo in college football history. Chase, who won the Biletnikoff Award, had 84 catches for 1,780 yards.

Jefferson caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards. Linebacker Jacob Phillips led the SEC in tackles this season too. One of the tougher schedules on this list, this team destroyed their competition; humiliating Georgia in the SEC Championship game by a score of 37-10, then obliterating Oklahoma 63-28 to advance to the National Title game and finishing off the season by defeating Clemson, 42-25.


  • Record: 12-0 (7-0 PAC8)
  • Coach: John McKay
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 6
  • The offense was third with 38 PPG. The defense was eighth with 11 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. Ohio State 42-17)
  • Notable Players: QB Mike Rae, QB Pat Haden, RB Anthony Davis, RB Rod McNeill, RB Sam Cunningham, WR Lynn Swann, WR JK McKay, TE Charles Young, T Pete Adams, DT Karl Lorch, DT Jeff Winans, DE John Grant.

Ending the year with a perfect 12-0 record, Southern Cal completely annihilated Ohio State in the Rose Bowl by a score of 42-17. They would go on to beat 11 of the 12 teams they faced by 17 or more – Stanford was a nine-point victory. The 1972 Trojans totaled six wins over ranked opponents. Lead back Anthony Davis shined this season, rushing for 1,191 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.


  • Record: 9-0 (9-0 Independent)
  • Coach: Red Blaik
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 5
  • The offense was first with 45 PPG. The defense was also first with 5 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. N/A)
  • Notable Players: RB Doc Blanchard, RB Glenn Davis, C Tex Coulter, DE John Green

The earliest team on this list, Army had one of the most powerful rushing attacks in college football history. Doc Blanchard took home the Heisman Trophy, and the Black Knights’ running game was so good, his backup, Glenn Davis came in second for the same award.

This Army team finished with a 9-0 record and pitched five shutouts. In more than half of their games, the defense didn’t allow the opposing team to score. Doc Blanchard had 101 carries for 722 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns, averaging an impressive 7 yards a carry. Glenn Davis had 85 carries for 930 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 10 yards a carry. In one of the greatest defensive seasons of all time, this Army team outscored opponents, 412-46.

Army was so good, when they played second-ranked, Notre Dame, they blew out the Irish 48-0 – the widest margin of victory between a #1 and #2 in college football history. Since there was no championship game, Army was officially recognized as the 1945 National Champions. 


  • Record: 12-0 (7-0BIG8)
  • Coach: Tom Osborne
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 4
  • The offense was first in the nation with 52 PPG. The defense ranked fourth with 14 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. Florida 62-24)
  • Notable Players: QB Tommie Frazier, RB Ahman Green, RB Lawrence Phillips, WR Clester Johnson, WR Reggie Baul, TE Sheldon Jackson, C Aaron Graham, DE Grant Wistrom, LB Jay Foreman, CB Tyrone Williams, S Mike Minter

A perfect 12-0 record. The Cornhuskers didn’t lose a game in either 1994 or 1995. A dominant offensive unit, the Huskers scored 35+ points every game. Tommie Frazier threw for 1,362 yards and 17 passing touchdowns while rushing for 604 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Frazier took home nearly every QB award and was the runner-up for the 1995 Heisman Trophy. Ahman Green ran for 1,086 yards and 16 total touchdowns. Nebraska beat four ranked teams, including three in the Top 10 winning by a combined score of 134-49.

This team was so good, they only trailed ONCE all season, Tommie Frazier didn’t get sacked a single time and they averaged 7 yards per rush attempt. Even the special teams were cashing in on the fun only allowing 5 punt returns for 12 yards all season. They also have the distinction of being the final Big 8 champions before the expansion to the Big 10. This team finished their season by completely murking Florida in the Fiesta Bowl by a score of 62-24. 


  • Record: 12-0 (7-0 Big East)
  • Coach: Larry Coker
  • Ranked Opponents Defeated: 5
  • The offense was third with 42 PPG. The defense led the country with 9 PPG allowed.
  • Natty: YES (def. 37-14 Nebraska)
  • Notable Players: QB Ken Dorsey, RB Clinton Portis, RB Najeh Davenport, RB Frank Gore, RB Willis McGahee, WR Andre Johnson, WR Roscoe Parrish, TE Jeremy Shockey, TE Kellen Winslow II, T Bryant McKinnie, C Brett Romberg, T Joaquin Gonzalez, DT Vince Wilfork, LB Jonathan Vilma, LB DJ Williams, CB Kelly Jennings, CB Philip Buchanon, S Ed Reed, S Antrel Rolle, S Sean Taylor

The greatest college team ever. Yes, 2001 Miami is the very best. After getting robbed from the National Championship in 2000, the 2001 Canes came back with a vengeance. An insane 38 players from this team were drafted into the NFL.

Of the 38, 17 of those were first-rounders. While Ken Dorsey wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire at quarterback, the talent around him was undeniable. Dorsey had 3,029 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns. Clinton Portis rushed for 1,304 yards with 11 scores. The offensive line was so good it took seven games for Dorsey to get sacked for the first time.

This team had unbelievable depth. Players like Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Kellen Winslow II, and Vernon Carey were riding the bench. This team was comprised of six Super Bowl champions with 43 trips to the Pro Bowl. Miami’s running backs Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, and Najeh Davenport all went on to start in the NFL. And as of 2021, Gore is still playing in the NFL.

This team took home the Maxwell Award, the Outland Trophy, and the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award. This Hurricanes team put the fear of God in teams, beating opponents by an average of 32 points. The defense led the nation in scoring defense, turnover margin, and pass defense.

This team was so talented I’m committing the sin of believing if they were inserted in the NFL during the 2001 season and they’d make the playoffs. I also would bet that they would have blown out the 1-15 Carolina Panthers and the 2-14 Detroit Lions by over 2 touchdowns. The greatest team to ever play college football.