Ranking the best U.S. Presidents who played college football – CBSSports.com
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It’s Presidents Day, so what better way to honor all the men who have served as President of the United States than by pitting them against one another and ranking them. Now, there are a million different ways we could compare Presidents, but this is a college football site, so there’s really only one option we care about.
We’re ranking the five former Presidents who played college football, whether on the FBS level or below.
These rankings are definitive, and if you feel differently, it’s because you’re wrong. I’m sorry, but somebody needed to tell you. It hurts now, but believe me, this blow to your ego will make you a better person in the long run.
Now let’s get to ranking some Presidents.
5. John F. Kennedy (Harvard): Kennedy wasn’t the only member of his family to play football at Harvard, as both Robert and Edward Kennedy did as well. Unlike his brothers, though, John never really played. In fact, JFK never made it past the JV thanks to illness and injuries. All his gridiron glory came on the front lawn with the family.
4. Richard Nixon (Whittier College): Like Kennedy, Nixon never really played at Whittier College in California, but at least he was on the team. He just served as a reserve tackle. Now, think about that for a moment. I know Whittier isn’t exactly an SEC school, but Richard Nixon, who was 5-foot-11 and weighed 175 pounds, played tackle. Most kickers are bigger than that nowadays.
3. Ronald Reagan (Eureka College): Reagan played at tiny Eureka College in Illinois, but he wasn’t exactly a revelation on the field. In fact, the only reason I’ve ranked him ahead of both Nixon and Kennedy is because, even if Reagan wasn’t a great player, he played a great player on film! He was George Gipp in Knute Rockne All American. Without him, how would we have known to win one for the Gipper?
2. Dwight D. Eisenhower (Army): Before he went on to his military career, and then the Presidency, Ike served as both a running back and linebacker at Army, starting on both sides of the ball. He also tackled Jim Thorpe once, which is a greater football accomplishment than any of the first three Presidents on this list can even dream of.
1. Gerald Ford (Michigan): There really wasn’t any other option for No. 1 on this list. Not only did Ford play at Michigan, but was a team MVP with the Wolverines after being named all-state in high school. He also had offers to go pro following college, but instead chose to coach at Yale while attending law school there. Then he ended up as President, which probably doesn’t happen if he signs with the Green Bay Packers instead.