College Football

ESPN ranks Yale, NDSU as top 10 all-time programs


STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Yale and North Dakota State led the way among FCS programs that were recognized in ESPN's ranking of the top 50 programs in college football history Thursday.

College football is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Yale, which has won 18 national titles, earned a No. 7 rankings, trailing only Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and Michigan.

Wrote ESPN: "Yeah, Yale. Park your recency bias at the curb for just a moment and consider that for the first 50 years of college football, the sport's dominant power resided in New Haven. No wonder Yale is in the top 10: Walter Camp, the Father of American Football, played here (and yes, he made up the rules as he went along). Once the Ivies took a look at scholarship football after World War II and said no thanks, Yale ranked as first among equals in that league through the 1970s. Of late, Yale has ceded Ivy League power to Harvard. A bitter pill indeed."

North Dakota State, which has collected 15 national titles, including seven of the last eight in the FCS, was ranked 10th.

According to ESPN, "Talk about higher education: Where else would Saturday's America have learned there's a 'z' in Bison. The dominance that North Dakota State has exerted over the FCS (née I-AA) in the past decade is rivaled only by the program's dominance over Division II for a quarter of a century beginning in 1965. And as we saw when College GameDay visited Fargo in 2013, Bison fans have got some juice."

Other current FCS programs in the Top 50: Princeton (11), Harvard (13), Grambling State (25), Penn (26) and Dartmouth (37).

Former FCS stalwarts Appalachian State (34) and Georgia Southern (48) also made the ranking.

Updated August 15, 2019

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