The case of the Vanderbilts of the world 

August, 17, 2010

A handful of FBS programs made the annual U.S. News and World Report top schools list:

5. Stanford Cardinal
9. Duke Blue Devils
12. Northwestern Wildcats
T-17. Rice Owls
T-17. Vanderbilt Commodores
19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
22. California Golden Bears
23. USC Trojans
T-25. UCLA Bruins
T-25. Virginia Cavaliers
T-25. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
29. Michigan Wolverines
30. North Carolina Tar Heels
31. Boston College Eagles
35. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
41. Washington Huskies
T-45. Texas Longhorns
T-45. Wisconsin Badgers
T-47. Illinois Fighting Illini
T-47. Miami Hurricanes
T-47. Penn State Nittany Lions

By conference, the ACC is king with seven schools in the top 50, followed by five each from the Pac-10 and Big Ten and one each from the SEC and Big 12.

How this all translates to your favorite football program is a much murkier deal.