The Winningest College Football States in America: The Bottom Half


usa of college football

The 2015 NCAA Football season is just one month away and it can’t get here soon enough. And with the new season on the horizon, every state with an FBS team is hoping they can bring home a championship, a bowl win, a conference title, or something to be proud of. And with that said, I have made a list ranking the most winningest college football states in America.

I made this list using a few guidelines. First, I only ranked the states with an FBS school, which is 41 out of 50. That means Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Delaware are not included. Next, I listed every school in the remaining states. Some states have only 1 or 2 schools, while some had plenty more. I tried not to use that fact in ranking them, but by using my grading scale, the less schools in a state usually meant the lower my grading. As for my grading scale, the Blog 4 Dat scale, I assigned points as follows:

– Winning %: Whatever the winning percentage was for all schools in the state is the base number I began with. For instance, if a state with three schools had a combined winning percentage of 2.19, I began their grading with a 2.0.

– Bowl Appearance: 1/2 point

– Bowl Win: 1 point

– National Championship: 2 points

– Conference Championship: 1 point

Share of Conference Championship: Each school received 1/2 point

I used all of this information for every school from the past 3 seasons. It was a lot of information to gather and figure out so I hope I got it all correct. For each state listed, I will list each school and their three-year record and then a summary of the state’s college football status. But with all of that said, let’s get into the countdown as we look at numbers 41-31.

If you want to skip to the top 20 winningest college football states in America click here.

41. New Mexico

State Record, Winning %: 16-57, .219

B4D Grade: 2.0

New Mexico


New Mexico State Aggies: 5-31

New Mexico Lobos: 11-26

Even with two schools, New Mexico can’t get anything going with their college football teams. The Aggies were members of the WAC and then went independent after that conference fell. They joined the Sun Belt conference in 2014 and hopefully some stability will help their cause. As for the Lobos, they are in the average Mountain West but can’t manage to put together a good season. Neither school had made a bowl appearance in the three years I used for this and that just seems amazing that that could happen. But then again, New Mexico is surrounded by Texas, Arizona, and California, three bigger college football states.

40. Hawaii

State Record, Winning %: 8-29, .216

B4D Grade: 2.0



Hawaii Warriors: 8-29

Hawaii only has one program in the FBS and they have been struggling for a few years now. Not too long ago, Hawaii was known for having some of college football’s most prolific passers, but those days are long gone. The Warriors have hit hard times in recent years and will need a major boost to reclaim the prominence they once had.

39. Connecticut

State Record, Winning %: 10-26, .278

B4D Grade: 2.5



Connecticut Huskies: 10-26

The Huskies got back in FBS football in the early 2000’s and have been decent since then. But only having 10 wins in the last three seasons makes them one of the least winningest states in the country. The benefit for the Huskies is being a member of the American Athletic Conference where no one has shown the ability to dominate the conference every year.

38. Massachusetts:

State Record, Winning %: 21-53, .284

B4D Grade: 3.5



Massachusetts Minutemen: 5-31

Boston College Eagles: 16-22

Boston College has not been the same school they once were. But their wins helped to lift Massachusetts up a few spots in this list. The Eagles do not have it easy though as they play in the ever-improving ACC. The Minutemen, members of the MAC, have struggled in their first three years in the FBS. They recently announced that they will be playing as independents starting in 2016 so that may help their chances of getting more wins.

37. Wyoming:

State Record, Winning %: 13-23, .361

B4D Grade: 3.5



Wyoming Cowboys: 13-23

Wyoming got the one-up on Massachusetts because they only had 8 fewer wins and with just one team. The Cowboys however have yet to break out and have a good year. They have only been to three bowl games in the 2000’s and none since 2011. I’m sure the people in Laramie are hoping that changes soon.

36. Nevada

State Record, Winning %: 29-48, .377

B4D Grade: 5.0



UNLV Rebels: 11-28

Nevada Wolf Pack: 18-20

Both Nevada schools are playing in the average Mountain West but can’t get over the hump to the top of the conference. The state has three bowl appearance in three years, but no bowl wins or conference championships. Both schools seem average and look to continue to be that way for now.

35. Iowa

State Record, Winning %: 30-45, .400

B4D Grade: 5.5



Iowa Hawkeyes: 19-19

Iowa State Cyclones: 11-26

Iowa is a state I did not expect to rank so low. But Iowa has been .500 in the past three seasons and I am not sure it can get much better for them in the improving Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have usually had a good team, but they will have to keep up with their conference if they want to improve. The Cyclones however have traditionally struggled but have seemingly improved a little in recent years. In 2012, they beat Iowa for the first time in Iowa City in 10 years. But, the Cyclones also play in a tough conference and will struggle to take the next step.

34. New York

State Record, Winning %: 44-66, .400

B4D Grade: 7.0

NCAA Football: Buffalo at Ohio State


Buffalo Bulls: 17-19

Syracuse Orange: 18-20

Army Black Knights: 9-27

Two of the New York schools, Buffalo and Syracuse, have hovered around .500 for the past three seasons. Buffalo has played some of their best football in a while and even made a bowl game appearance in 2013. Syracuse had good seasons in 2012 and 2013 before struggling last season in the ACC. Army however has been woeful every season and had 4 wins in 2014, their most since 2010.

33. Minnesota

State Record, Winning %: 22-17, .564

B4D Grade: 7.0

jea 3036 gophersUNLV


Minnesota Golden Gophers: 22-17

The Golden Gophers are the only FBS school in the state of Minnesota and have represented the state very well. Minnesota has been an average team in the Big Ten but they will need to step it up in order to climb further up on the list with the competition improving in the conference.

32. Colorado

State Record, Winning %: 47-66, .416

B4D Grade: 7.0



Colorado Buffaloes: 7-29

Colorado State Rams: 22-17

Air Force Falcons: 18-20

Colorado’s service academy, the Air Force, has been average in the past three seasons in the Mountain West conference. They have been a good team in the past, but their system may not work as well as it used to. The Buffaloes have struggled mightily in the PAC-12 while the state benefitted from Colorado State improving in recent years. I predict that this trend will continue and keep Colorado right about where they are now.

31. Washington

State Record, Winning %: 36-41, .468

B4D Grade: 7.0



Washington Huskies: 24-16

Washington State Cougars: 12-25

The two Washington schools are almost mirror opposites of each other. The Cougars have averaged 4 wins in the past three seasons, while the Huskies average 8 in the same time span. The Huskies traditionally finished near the top of the PAC-12 while Washington State is always at the bottom.

30. Kansas

State Record, Winning %: 35-40, .467

B4D Grade: 7.0



Kansas Jayhawks: 7-29

Kansas State Wildcats: 28-11

While the Jayhawks may be one of the top basketball programs in the country, they are one of the worst football teams in the country. They are consistently at the bottom of the Big XII and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The Wildcats help to raise Kansas in this list because of their great play in the past three seasons, including a share of a conference championship.

29. Virginia

State Record, Winning %: 47-52, .475

B4D Grade: 7.0



Virginia Cavaliers: 11-25

Virginia Tech Hokies: 22-17

Old Dominion Monarchs: 14-10

The two ACC schools, Virginia and Virginia Tech, have played just about as expected. The Cavaliers are usually a below average team in a good conference while the Hokies are always seen as a top program that somehow loses games that they shouldn’t. Old Dominion joined the FBS in 2013 as an independent and then joined Conference USA last year. The Monarchs have a respectable record in their first two years in the FBS and should fair well in the weakened conference.

28. Pennsylvania

State Record, Winning %: 53-58, .477

B4D Grade: 7.5



Penn State Nittany Lions: 22-15

Pittsburgh Panthers: 19-20

Temple Owls: 12-23

Pennsylvania is usually a pretty good state for college football. However, in this time frame, the state’s two biggest programs, Penn State and Pitt, have struggled through mediocrity. Penn State suffered through NCAA sanctions but still managed to have a winning record. The Panthers meanwhile have struggled in their move from the Big East to the ACC. Temple has just brought down the state’s overall record with their lackluster play.

27. New Jersey

State Record, Winning %: 23-16, .590

B4D Grade: 8.0



Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 23-16

New Jersey is an example of one school carrying a state higher on the list than others. Rutgers has been a good team in recent years with two bowl appearances, one bowl win, and a share of a conference championship. Their move into the Big Ten last year however will test them because of the depth of better teams in that conference compared to the AAC or the Big East.

26. Idaho

State Record, Winning %: 34-41, .453

B4D Grade: 8.5



Boise State Broncos: 31-9

Idaho Vandals: 3-32

Idaho is another state with two completely opposite schools. The Vandals have averaged one win in each of the past three seasons. They have shifted from the WAC to an independent team to the Sun Belt and seem to have no stability or direction right now. The Broncos on the other hand averaged over 10 wins in each of the last three seasons and are always atop the Mountain West. They are also always a threat to be the non-traditional school to make it to the top of the FBS.

25. Mississippi

State Record, Winning %: 53-61, .465

B4D Grade: 9.0



Mississippi State Bulldogs: 25-14

Ole Miss Rebels: 24-15

Southern Miss Golden Eagles: 4-32

The Bulldogs and Rebels have had a few good seasons in the SEC in recent times. The Bulldogs had FBS Championship aspirations in 2014 before falling short in the end and Ole Miss has flirted with winning the SEC West as well. However, Southern Miss brings down the overall grade of the state as they managed just four wins in three seasons in a weaker conference.

24. Indiana

State Record, Winning %: 76-74, .5076

B4D Grade: 9.0



Ball State Cardinals: 24-14

Indiana Hoosiers: 13-23

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 29-10

Purdue Boilermakers: 10-27

The Big Ten has not been kind to the state of Indiana. The Boilermakers and Hoosiers have a combined 23 wins in the past three seasons. That is less than Ball State’s 24 and Notre Dame’s 29. The Cardinals have improved and been one of the better teams in the Mid-American Conference while Notre Dame has been consistently good, although not the powerhouse they once were.

23. Maryland

State Record, Winning %: 43-34, .558

B4D Grade: 9.0



Maryland Terrapins: 18-20

Navy Midshipmen: 25-14

The Terrapins made the move from the ACC to the Big Ten last season and finished just 4-4 in the conference. They will need to improve to make it to the top of the Big Ten with other schools in the conference improving. Maryland was carried this far up the list by their other school, Navy. The Midshipmen are hands-down the best service academy team in the NCAA and show it with their record.

22. West Virginia

State Record, Winning %: 46-32, .590

B4D Grade: 9.5

W Virginia


Marshall Thundering Herd: 28-12

West Virginia Mountaineers: 18-20

West Virginia had a balanced three year stretch. The Mountaineers are consistent in the Big XII but never reach the top of the conference. The Thundering Herd had been a relatively quiet team until they put together a great 2014 season and helped the state’s ranking in this list.

21. Nebraska

State Record, Winning %: 28-12, .700

B4D Grade: 9.5



Nebraska Cornhuskers: 28-12

The Cornhuskers are the only FBS program in Nebraska and have done well to represent the state. However, the Cornhusker fans want more than just one bowl win in three seasons. The hiring of Mike Riley this year may be what Nebraska needs to take the next step, but only time will tell.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.