In 2012, for the first time in the 44 year history of the College Football Research Center, the Michigan Wolverines were not the #2 All-Time Top Program in the Billingsley Report. On the strength of 3 National Championships in the last 5 years the Alabama Crimson Tide surged slightly ahead of Michigan last season. In 2013 the Crimson Tide extended their lead over the Wolverines and are now taking aim on overtaking Notre Dame as College Football’s most elite football program.
From 1970-1977 the top 3 programs were Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State. Alabama leaped the Buckeyes to claim the #3 spot in 1980 after Bear Bryant led Alabama to a remarkable run of great teams in the 1970’s, capped by their 4th Billingsley title in 1979.
Notre Dame remains as the #1 overall top rated program in college football history with 268.814 points (down slightly in 2013) to Alabama’s 267.670 (up slightly). Changes in Billingsley’s Top Programs are rare as the data is an average of 144 years of ratings. Should Alabama continue their surge and the Irish falter a few seasons, projections indicate Alabama could overtake Notre Dame in 3 to 4 years. Notre Dame’s dip in performance for 2013 allowed the Tide to continue their march to the Top of Billingsley’s list.