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ASU named as one of the 50 best college football programs historically

Arizona State Sun Devils helmets on the field during the Arizona State Sun Devils spring football game on February 28, 2019 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona State football program was ranked as the No. 46 college football program over the last 150 years, according to a formula created by ESPN that ranked the top 50 football programs in the country over that span.

While ASU has never won a national title, it was a Pac-10 powerhouse and became a nationally-renowned team. The Sun Devils have also won 14 bowl games, including a Rose Bowl.

Relatedly , Tempe has been a notable breeding ground for NFL talent, producing players like Todd Heap, Terrell Suggs, Jake Plummer and more recently N’Keal Harry.

The Sun Devils landed on the national college football map thanks to the work of two Hall of Fame coaches. Dan Devine made Arizona State a power in the old Border Conference, but he left the desert after three seasons (1955 to 1957, with a 27-3-1 record) to climb the career ladder. His successor, Frank Kush, stuck around for 22 seasons (1958 to 1979), won 176 games and methodically built the Sun Devils into a national power. By the time Arizona State fired him in 1979 for physically mishandling a player, Kush had shepherded the Sun Devils into the security of the Pac-10 Conference.

ESPN’s list was created using a special formula derived from five percentage-assigned sub-categories.

The categories and their percentage weight include the number of national championships (20%), peak strength (20%) and success during three eras: since integration (30%), early modern (20%) and pre-modern (10%).

Despite lower levels of competition, the list wasn’t exclusive to just the NCAA Division I. ESPN’s ranking included a number of Division II and III universities.

Alabama and its 15 national titles leads the way on the ranking while Wisconsin was ranked No. 50.

ASU was one of five Pac-12 school to be named. USC (5), Washington (30), Colorado (42), Stanford (43) and Utah(49) were the other who received rankings.

Arizona State’s rival, Arizona, was left off of the list.

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