Who are the Blue Bloods of College Football?

We've celebrated well over 100 years of college football, but which teams are NCAA royalty? Here are the eight teams voted as blue bloods.


As we head into college football season, it’s important to know the history of the sport we all love. Over the years, some teams have established themselves as true NCAA royalty. So, who are the blue bloods of college football? 

Well, it depends who you ask! According to a recent poll by Pick Six Previews, there are eight storied college teams which the majority of fans consider blue bloods. That said, there are plenty of historic teams which didn’t make the cut. According to the 170,000 fans who voted, these teams aren’t quite at blue blood status:

  • UGA
  • Penn State
  • LSU
  • FSU
  • Florida
  • Miami
  • Clemson
  • Tennessee
  • Auburn
  • Washington

It’s worth noting that for college basketball, only six teams made the list! Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Indiana and UCLA were all voted as basketball blue bloods.

When it comes to college football, the list is a little longer! Ready to find out who the true blues are?


When it comes to sports betting, Crimson Tide football is one of the most popular teams in college sports. It’s also currently the top-rated team in the NCAA. Since 1892, the program has won 18 national titles. Perhaps more impressive is their record with the Heisman Trophy winners. Though it took til 2009 for a Bama player to win it, a further three players have scooped it up since then.

A whopping 95% of those surveyed class Alabama as a blue blood team in the NCAA. Notably their in-state rivals, Auburn, didn’t make the list. 


Blue by name, blue by nature. Michigan was voted as blue blood by 76% of the respondents. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise given that Michigan holds the record for the most all-time wins in college football history. The Wolverines have been a part of the Big Ten since its inception in 1896, but had been playing for nearly thirty years prior to joining the conference. 

Michigan football has won 11 national championships. Its notable alumni include a long list of college players who made it in the NFL such as Tom Brady, Charles Woodson and Tom Harmon. It was also the home of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, who played at center and was voted MVP of the 1934 team!

An Auburn player in a black and white photograph pushes past Michigan players

Michigan football started playing in 1879, making them one of the oldest teams in college football. Pictured: an Auburn player slips past the Michigan defence at the Orange Bowl in 1938.


The five time national champions Nebraska won a respectable 77% of votes to earn the moniker of blue blood. Nebraska’s footballing roots spread back to 1890, when the team first launched as the Old Gold Knights. Their name was then changed to the Bugeaters two years later, while Cornhuskers was officially adopted in 1900. 

Impressively, they’ve sold out every home game since 1962. Twenty five former Cornhuskers are included in the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Notre Dame

Often thought of as the most popular college sports team in America, Notre Dame football convinced 82% of respondents that it deserved blue blood status. The team started in 1887 with a loss to Michigan, but it was in 1894 that they started to gain prominence with the hiring of their first head football coach, James L. Morrison. 

In the years since, the Fighting Irish have amassed 11 national championships. Seven Notre Dame players have picked up the Heisman Trophy, while 104 have become All-Americans.

Ohio State

93% of those surveyed hailed Ohio State as blue bloods, the second highest percentage behind Alabama. Ohio State comes out on top in terms of net worth, though. The program was valued at $1.5-2 billion in 2017 – the most of any college football team.

After a student-led campaign, football was launched at Ohio State in 1890. Since then, they’ve won eight NCAA national championships as well as a cool 41 conference titles. Seven Buckeye players have won the Heisman Trophy, including Archie Griffin, the only player to have won it twice.

Brutus the buckeye dances for fans at an Ohio State game

Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye is seen during an NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)


Fun fact: Oklahoma football boasts the highest winning percentage (0.76%) of any team since 1945. It also holds the longest winning streak of any team in Division I history, having triumphed 47 times between 1953 and 1957 before losing to Notre Dame.

After seven national championships, 50 conference titles and seven Heisman winners, Oklahoma was voted a blue blood by 90% of football fans. 


The Texas football team lines up and cheers with their longhorn mascot

The Texas Longhorns narrowly earned blue blood status with just 52% of those surveyed agreeing. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Texas is an interesting one – just 52% of respondents considered it a blue blood of college football. On paper, the team’s success is dwarfed by other storied programs on the list. To date, the Longhorns have won four national championships and fostered two Heisman award winners.

Texas hit the ground running in 1893 with the hiring of future Hall of Fame coach, Dana X. Bible. Since then, the team has won over 900 games.


One of the oldest blue bloods, the USC football team began playing in 1888. The Trojans have won 11 national championships to date and boast 13 undefeated seasons. 69% of those surveyed considered USC a blue blood team, which is dwarfed by the 82% who voted for their rivals Notre Dame.

USC has an impressive history of producing top tier players. Alongside the seven Heisman winners who’ve worn the cardinal and gold, USC has produced a record 17 quarterbacks who went on to play in the NFL as well as 40 wide receivers. 

Do you agree with these eight college football blue bloods? Check out our independent US sportsbook reviews to find the best odds for real money sports bets this football season!

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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