The 20 most dominant college football teams

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Alabama will take on Clemson — again — at The College Football Playoff National Championship Game Presented by AT&T on Monday.
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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Monday, Clemson University and the University of Alabama will face off for the second year in a row at The College Football Playoff National Championship Game Presented by AT&T.

And though fans will be deciding whether to cheer “Go Tigers!” or yell their loudest “Roll Tide!” on January 9, these two teams aren’t the only ones to inspire some serious school pride.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, ranked the best college football programs in its 2016 college rankings.

The list primarily looked at the number of BCS bowl appearances, number of NCAA championship wins, and average attendance at home games. It also took factors such as BCS bowl game wins, number of alumni in the NFL, and student survey responses into consideration.

For its ranking, Niche used the number of National Championships won recently (since 2000), but we included the number in the modern poll era – since 1936 – for reference.

Niche recently released its 2017 college rankings, sans an updated version of this list, so please note that this ranking comes from Niche’s 2016 report, released at the end of 2015. You’ll notice that while Alabama is near the top of the list, Clemson didn’t make the top 20.

Scroll down to see the 20 best colleges for anyone obsessed with college football.


20. West Virginia University

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Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

National championships: 0

Average attendance at home games: 52,910

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 180


19. University of Tennessee

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Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

National championships: 2

Average attendance at home games: 95,584

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 310


18. Penn State

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Patrick Smith/Stringer/Getty

Location: State College, Pennsylvania

National championships: 2

Average attendance at home games: 96,587

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 343


17. Stanford University

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Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Location: Stanford, California

National championships: 0

Average attendance at home games: 50,726

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 232


16. Auburn University

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Butch Dill/Getty

Location: Auburn, Alabama

National championships: 2

Average attendance at home games: 85,657

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 241


15. University of Georgia

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Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Location: Athens, Georgia

National championships: 1

Average attendance at home games: 92,746

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 281


14. Virginia Tech

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Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

National championships: 0

Average attendance at home games: 63,999

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 131


13. University of Notre Dame

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Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Location: South Bend, Indiana

National championships: 8

Average attendance at home games: 80,795

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 536


12. University of Wisconsin

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

National championships: 0

Average attendance at home games: 78,911

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 294


11. University of Oregon

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Location: Eugene, Oregon

National championships: 0

Average attendance at home games: 57,660

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 207


10. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

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Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

National championships: 2

Average attendance at home games: 111,592

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 346


9. University of Texas at Austin

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Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Location: Austin, Texas

National championships: 4

Average attendance at home games: 98,976

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 288


8. University of Miami

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Location: Coral Gables, Florida

National championships: 5

Average attendance at home games: 53,837

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 304


7. Florida State University

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Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

National championships: 3

Average attendance at home games: 75,421

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 261


6. University of Oklahoma

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Ronald Martinez/Getty

Location: Norman, Oklahoma

National championships: 7

Average attendance at home games: 84,722

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 324


5. Louisiana State University

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Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

National championships: 3

Average attendance at home games: 91,418

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 313


4. University of Alabama

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Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

National championships: 11

Average attendance at home games: 101,505

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 298


3. University of Florida

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Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Location: Gainesville, Florida

National championships: 3

Average attendance at home games: 87,440

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 278


2. University of Southern California

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Harry How/Getty Images

Location: Los Angeles

National championships: 7

Average attendance at home games: 73,126

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 471


1. Ohio State University

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Location: Columbus, Ohio

National championships: 6

Average attendance at home games: 104,933

Number of alumni who have played in the NFL: 409