Who is the greatest college football team since 1968?
Every college football fan has their own answer to that but for me it’s the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers. They went 12-0 overall, weren’t challenged all season long as they won every game by at least 14 points, beat four top-10 teams by an average of 31.5 points per game. Their style of play doesn’t fit what works in college football today but they were unstoppable in every sense of the word.
Athlon Sports recently ranked every college football team to win a championship since 1968 and as our colleagues at Cornhuskers Wire pointed out, they got the top overall team wrong.
I’ll make you click the link above to see the entire list but here are where Notre Dame’s champions since 1968 ranked (’73, ’77, ’88).
52. 1977 Notre Dame
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1977 Notre Dame: 11-1, Cotton Bowl victors over Texas
36. 1973 Notre Dame
1973 Notre Dame: 11-0, Sugar Bowl winners over No. 1 Alabama
11. 1988 Notre Dame
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1988 Notre Dame: 12-0, Firsta Bowl victory over West Virginia
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When it’s based off a formula like Athlon Sports put together then there isn’t room left for opinion.
As far as Notre Dame is concerned, seeing as 1977 had a loss to what wound up being a 5-6 Ole Miss team, that knocks them down considerably and understandably so. If only Dan Devine would have gone to that Montana kid at quarterback sooner…
Based on resume, 1988’s 12-0 mark clearly is the best of these allowed Notre Dame resumes as it features wins over No. 1 Miami, No. 2 USC, No. 3 West Virginia, and No. 9 Michigan compared to ’73 that saw an upset victory over No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl but featured just two wins over ranked opponents in the regular season.
They didn’t win a championship (no, I’m not talking about 1993 because I’m of the belief that Notre Dame should claim that over the lifetime achievement award Bobby Bowden was handed that season) in 1989 but to me that was Lou Holtz’s most impressive team in South Bend as they beat six ranked opponents that year, including No. 1 Colorado in the Orange Bowl, but a loss in the regular season finale kept the Irish from repeating as champs.
Non-Notre Dame thoughts from list
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I won’t give away the full content of the list as I encourage you go to Cornhuskers Wire for that but as I stated above, 1995 Nebraska was the best college football team I’ve ever seen. Sure, having NFL talent is a great way to win a lot of games and 2001 Miami had an absurd amount of it, but if they met give me Tom Osborne over Larry Coker eight days a week.