In the wake of the Texas Longhorns and ESPN agreeing to a 20-year, $300 million deal, it's time to look back at the most influential programs in the history of college football.
The Longhorns now have their own network, dedicated to the athletic and academic pursuits of the burnt-orange clad population of Austin, Texas for all 24 hours, each and every day. You'd be kidding yourself if you thought that football wasn't going to be the main draw.
But the significance of this move goes beyond just the athletic ramifications. Sure, Texas gets increased exposure and revenue, but the deal makes an unmistakable statement about the program.
ESPN would never have considered making this deal if the Longhorns weren't one of the most influential programs of both college football history and modern college football.
They demand attention, so they got it.
Now that we've settled that, let's move on to the 50 most influential programs of college football.
But first, what makes a program influential?
Success is definitely one component, and sometimes enough success can make up for a dearth of other influential aspects. However, success is not vital to a program's place on this list.
Doing something truly revolutionary, changing the way the game is played and coming up with more subtle contributions works as well.
So without further ado, read on to find out how the 50 most influential programs stack up, with one twist. The following 50 teams are, in my opinion, the 50 most influential of all-time, but they aren't ranked in order of their historical significance and influence. Rather, they're ranked from bottom to top in order of current influence.
Rest assured that all of the top current programs are well represented.