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Here Are The 'Kings' Of The College Football Hierarchy, According To Stewart Mandel

These are the top programs of college football, in terms of prestige.

In 2007, Stewart Mandel, then a writer for Sports Illustrated, answered a mailbag question dividing the 66 BCS teams in terms of "prestige and place in the national scene." Today, 10 years later, he reevaluated his opinion—and truthfully, not much has changed.

Here, according to Mandel, were the "Kings" of college football in 2007:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Florida State
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • Penn State
  • Tennessee*
  • Texas
  • USC

And here are the "Kings" now:

  • Alabama
  • Clemson
  • Florida
  • Florida State
  • LSU
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • Penn State
  • Texas
  • USC

Clemson and Miami got added, while Tennessee and Nebraska were dropped. Ouch.

He goes on to list the "Barons," "Knights," and finally the "Peasants," who are the worst of the college football bunch with the least amount of prestige. You can check them all out here.

Mandel emphasizes that the rankings are far from scientific, and that it has less to do with how a program performs year-to-year, and more to do with its particular "aura." "If Ohio State inexplicably goes 0-12 this season," he explains, "it will still be one of the sport’s Kings."

Still, if I were a Tennessee or Nebraska fan, I'd be kind of upset that my team got bounced.

[FOX Sports]