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Penn State Ranked 12th Greatest College Football Program of All-Time by the Associated Press

Juuuuust a bit outside the Top 10, but we’ll take it.


Earlier today, the Associated Press released its rankings of the Top 100 college football teams since the AP began ranking teams back in 1936, and Penn State came in 12th on the list.

The criteria used to rank the teams was done as explained on the AP’s website:

To determine the all-time Top 25, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (two points) to acknowledge elite programs and gave a bonus for AP championships (10 points).

Utilizing this criteria, Penn State was given a total of 647 points, thanks to 589 total appearances in the AP poll (over 53% of all AP polls ever released), 19 Number One rankings, and two AP national titles. This was good enough to place the Nittany Lions just outside the Top 10 and right behind 11th-ranked LSU.

Ohio State (1,112 points) is currently the greatest program of all-time according to the AP, while Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama, and USC round out the Top 5.

The B1G teams not named Penn State or Ohio State made the list as follows:

6. Nebraska

7. Michigan

19. Michigan State

24. Wisconsin

25. Iowa

36. Purdue

37. Minnesota

40. Maryland

50. Northwestern

51. Illinois

72. Indiana

86. Rutgers (behind historical powerhouses such as Holy Cross, Iowa State, and Fordham - #LOLRutgers)

Overall, this is a pretty interesting list to look at, especially since you can learn what each Top 25 team’s best and worst decades were (based on number of appearances in the polls). As of right now, PSU’s worst decade was the 1950s when they appeared a little less than 21% of the time in the polls between 1950-1959 while the 90s were their best decade, as PSU appeared in over 95% of the polls during that time span.

Given how dismal the 2010s have been ranking-wise for the program (PSU was last ranked in 2011), they may have a shot at giving the 50s a run for their money. Here’s to hoping the latter half of this decade brings an end to the drought and helps vault the program into the Top 10 when the AP updates this list in 2036.