4. Iowa Hawkeyes (54 wins)
No one thinks about Iowa as a superpower, but under Kirk Ferentz it’s been firmly fixed in the land of the very, very good.
It’s harder than you think to come up with 54 wins over six seasons – averaging nine wins per campaign.
Michigan and Texas weren’t able to do it. Auburn wasn’t able to get there, and Florida and USC couldn’t do it, either. But again, you’re not thinking about Iowa as anything truly special.
And that’s fair. When you haven’t won a New Year’s Six game since 2009, and you haven’t finished in the top 25 in both of the polls in 11 of the last 15 seasons, it’s hard to make a convincing argument that you belong in the College Football Playoff anytime soon.
But Iowa came a stop away from doing it.
The 2015 team took advantage of a favorable schedule to go 12-0, it battled Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, and it came this close in a 16-13 loss. Sure, it would’ve been annihilated by Alabama in the CFP, but it was close to getting there.