ESPN has had a panel of "experts" rating all the 119 Division 1A college football programs over the period of the last ten years, from the bottom to the top. The overall rating appears to have come from averaging the results from the panel of fifteen analysts.
"What are the top programs of the last decade? That's the question ESPN.com has attempted to answer this week. Fifteen college football experts and analysts ranked all 119 Division I-A programs, taking into account record, traditions, recruiting, facilities, coaches, attendance and support, among other criteria."
NU came in at #13 (tied with Wisconsin), a shade low in my opinion, given that Florida was #4 with an almost identical record (94-32, 1 NC, 2 conf titles, 5-5 in bowl games to NU's 94-34, 1 NC, 2 conf titles and 5-4 bowl record). Particulary eggregious: Virgina Tech finished #12 with a 59-59 record, no titles and a 4-6 bowl record. Now obviously, the recent record at NU isn't as strong as it has been historically, but looking at the "ratings" by some of the panel, it looks like NU got shafted by at least a couple, with Bill Curry putting NU at #24(!?), behind such storied programs as Kansas State(11!?), Boston College(15), TCU(9!?) and Colorado State(21). Does this guy even watch any games? Chris Fallica also had a pretty questionable ranking, putting NU at #22. Most of the panel had NU in the top 15, with six rating them either 10 or 11, which I would characterize as about right.