Who Is The Greatest College Football Team of All-Time?

image descriptionby Hunter Wood

Which college football team was the most dominant of all time? Who showed up game after game against top-tier competition and took the opponent to the woodshed?

I have 4 key measurements in this discussion to see how they rank and add up, the 6 teams i am putting up for discussion are:

1971 Nebraska - Went 13-0 only allowing 8.0 PPG and scoring 39.0 themselves.

1973 Oklahoma - Margin of victory was 24.3 against one of the toughest schedules of all-time.

1995 Nebraska - Margin of victory was 38.7 and their QB Tommie Frazier was voted second place for the Heisman Trophy, also scored 53.2 PPG.

2001 - Miami (FL) - One of the greatest collections of future NFL talent whose margin of victory was 32.9. 

2005 Texas - Scored 50.2 PPG with possibly the greatest collegiate QB ever in Vince Young. 

2013 Florida St. - Have the largest margin of victory in this group by beating their opponents by 39.5 per game. Also, they have the only Heisman Trophy winner in this group in QB Jameis Winston. 

1st measurement is strength of schedule, how many ranked teams did they face and how high were those teams ranked? I will list the ranked teams they played along with the score to see how they fared.

1971 Nebraska:

#9 Colorado 31-7 (Win)

#2 Oklahoma 35-31 (Win)

#2 Alabama 38-6 (Win)

10 unranked wins

1973 Oklahoma:

#1 USC 7-7 (Tie)

#17 24-20 (Win)

#13 Texas 52-13 (Win)

#16 Colorado 34-7 (Win)

#10 Missouri 31-3 (Win)

#18 Kansas 48-20 (Win)

#10 Nebraska (Win)

4 unranked wins 

1995 Nebraska:

#8 Kansas St. 49-25 (Win)

#7 Colorado 44-21 (Win)

#10 Kansas 41-3 (Win)

#2 Florida 62-24 (Win)

8 unranked wins

2001 Miami (FL):

#14 Florida St. 49-27 (Win)

#14 Syracuse 59-0 (Win)

#12 Washington 65-7 (Win)

#14 Virginia Tech 26-24 (Win)

#4 Nebraska 37-14 (Win)

7 unranked wins

2005 Texas:

#4 Ohio St. 25-22 (Win)

#24 Colorado 42-17 (Win)

#10 Texas Tech 52-17 (Win)

#1 USC 41-38 (Win)

9 unranked wins

2013 Florida St.:

#25 Maryland 63-0 (Win)

#3 Clemson 51-14 (Win)

#7 Miami (FL) 41-14 (Win)

#20 Duke 45-7 (Win)

#2 Auburn 34-31 (Win)

9 unranked wins

My schedule rankings:

1. 1973 Oklahoma

2. 2001 Miami (FL)

3. 1995 Nebraska

4. 2005 Texas 

5. 1971 Nebraska

6. 2013 Florida St.

2nd measurement is margin of victory, how bad did they beat their opponents?

1971 Nebraska: 39.0 PS/G (3rd of 128) - 8.0 PA/G (2nd of 128) = 31.0 MoV

1973 Oklahoma: 36.4 PS/G (6th of 129) - 12.1 PA/G (14th of 129) = 24.3 MoV

1995 Nebraska: 53.2 PS/G (1st of 108) - 14.5 PA/G (4th of 108) = 38.7 MoV

2001 Miami (FL): 42.7 PS/G (3rd of 117) - 9.8 PA/G (1st of 117) = 32.9 MoV

2005 Texas: 50.2 PS/G (1st of 119) - 16.4 PA/G (8th of 119) = 33.8 MoV

2013 Florida St.: 51.6 PS/G (2nd of 125) - 12.1 PA/G (1st of 125) = 39.5 MoV

Margin of Victory rankings:

1. 2013 Florida St.

2. 1995 Nebraska 

3. 2005 Texas

4. 2001 Miami (FL)

5. 1971 Nebraska 

6. 1973 Oklahoma 

3rd measurement is star power, how many first team All-Americans did these teams have?

1971 Nebraska:

WR Johnny Rodgers 

DL Willie Harper

DL Larry Jacobson

1973 Oklahoma:

DL Lucious Selmon

LB Rod Shoate

1995 Nebraska:

QB Tommie Frazier

2001 Miami (FL):

OL Bryant McKinnie

DB Ed Reed

2005 Texas:

QB Vince Young

OL Jonathan Scott

DL Rodrique Wright

DB Michael Huff

2013 Florida St.:

QB Jameis Winston 

OL Bryan Stork

K Robert Aguayo

DB Lamarcus Joyner

Star Power Rankings:

1. 2013 Florida St.

2. 2005 Texas

3. 1971 Nebraska

4. Miami (FL)

5. 1973 Oklahoma

6. 1995 Nebraska

4th measurement is the head coach:

1971 Nebraska:

Bob Devaney

101-20-2 record at Nebraska

6-3 Bowl record at Nebraska

1973 Oklahoma:

Barry Switzer

157-29-4 record at Oklahoma

8-5 Bowl record at Oklahoma

1995 Nebraska:

Tom Osborne

255-49-3 record at Nebraska

12-13 Bowl record at Nebraska

2001 Miami (FL):

Larry Coker

60-15-0 record at Miami (FL)

4-2 Bowl record at Miami (FL)

2005 Texas:

Mack Brown 

158-48-0 record at Texas

10-5 Bowl record at Texas

2013 Florida St.:

Jimbo Fisher

45-10-0 record at Florida St.

4-0 Bowl record at Florida St.

Coach rankings:

1. 1973 Oklahoma (Switzer)

2. 1995 Nebraska (Osborne)

3. 2005 Texas (Brown)

4. 2013 Florida St. (Fisher)

5. 1971 Nebraska (Devaney)

6. 2001 Miami (FL) (Coker)

How did they add up in the rankings? (you want less points, not more)

1971 Nebraska:

SOS: 5th

MoV: 5th

Stars: 3rd

Coach: 5th

Total: 18 pts

1973 Oklahoma:

SOS: 1st

MoV: 6th

Stars: 5th

Coach: 1st

Total: 13 pts

1995 Nebraska:

SOS: 3rd

MoV: 2nd

Stars: 6th

Coach: 2nd

Total: 13 pts

2001 Miami (FL)

SOS: 2nd

MoV: 4th

Stars: 4th

Coach: 6th

Total: 16 pts

2005 Texas:

SOS: 4th

MoV: 3rd

Stars: 2nd 

Coach: 3rd

Total: 12 pts

2013 Florida St.

SOS: 6th

MoV: 1st

Stars: 1st

Coach: 4th

Total: 12 pts

If I had a tie, I went with whoever had the highest voted player for their season's Heisman Trophy

For 1st place and the greatest team ever we have the 2013 Florida State Seminoles whose best player (Jameis Winston) won the Heisman Trophy therefore winning the tie breaker over the 2005 Texas Longhorns whose best player (Vince Young) was voted second for the Heisman Trophy. 

For 3rd place there was a tie between 1973 Oklahoma and 1995 Nebraska and 1995 Nebraska won the tiebreaker because their best player (Tommie Frazier) was voted second for the Heisman Trophy while 1973 Oklahoma's best player (Lucious Selmon) was only voted 7th for the Heisman Trophy. So now we have the final rankings ready.

Final Rankings:

1. 2013 Florida St.

2. 2005 Texas

3. 1995 Nebraska

4. 1973 Oklahoma

5. 2001 Miami (FL)

6. 1971 Nebraska

Therefore the greatest team is the 2013 Florida State Seminoles. You can argue about their weak schedule, but they blew out pretty much everybody until Auburn in the National Championship, therefore making their opponents look worse than they really were. It might take a few years to appreciate just how special this team was, but you knew it would take a special team from outside of the SEC to end their championship reign. Now you can see just how special this squad really was.