College football all-time power rankings: The 30 best programs ever

Dabo Swinney and Nick SabanDabo Saban 2
Dabo Swinney and Nick SabanDabo Saban 2 /
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Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports /

15. Army Black Knights

  • All-Time Record: 703-528-51 (.568)
  • All-Time Bowl Record: 6-2 (.750)
  • National Championships: 3 (claimed) 2 (unclaimed)
  • Conference Championships: 0
  • Consensus All-Americans: 37
  • Heisman Winners: 3

The Army Black Knights have a unique place on this list for several reasons. They are one of the oldest non-Ivy League football programs in the country. The demographics of college football has changed exponentially between the eras in which they were relevant. All three of their claimed national championship were during World War II; their unclaimed titles were won during World War I.

Unless a lot changes at West Point, the Black Knights are not positioned to win a national championship. The Black Knights are on this list because they are one of the “classic” college football brands. From its inception, Army Football was a winner. In its first decade of playing football, the Corps had just two losing seasons. In its first twenty seasons, the Corps had just three losing seasons.

Many men coached the Black Knights during its infancy. In 1941 the Army hired Earl “Red” Blaik from Dartmouth to coach the football program. During Blaik’s tenure (1941-1958), The Army Black Knights were among the most dominant football programs in the country. Blaik and the Knights won three consecutive national championships from 1944-1946. The Army also had a 32 game unbeaten streak from 1944-1947; its only blemish a 0-0 tie against Notre Dame.

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It would be years before Army Football would be relevant again. Jim Young led the Black Knights to their first bowl games, going to three in seven years. In 1996, Bob Sutton led the Knights to their first top 25 finish since Red Blaik in 1958. Currently, head coach Jeff Monken has the Black Knights playing their best football since the Blaik era. Monken has won 10 or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history and led the Knights to three consecutive bowl games, also a school first.