Bill Connelly ranked the top 10 FBS programs of each decade, starting with the 1890s. Connelly is a number cruncher, and uses his stats and info to come up with intricate and interesting articles. Well on February 29th, he did it again.
Stanford makes the list only one time and it is in the most recent decade, but not yet finished, of the 2010s. Stanford is ranked as the second best team in the decade in Connelly's S&P+ ratings. Stanford is second to the one and only Alabama and they own the 3rd best record among the teams ranked (Alabama and Oregon have better records).
As for the rest of the teams, Oklahoma, LSU, and Oregon round out the top 5. Then Ohio State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Georgia, and finally Michigan State. Here is some explaining Connelly provides:
Alabama's surge, which began in 2008, has been as good as anything we've ever seen. At 98.4 percent, the Tide's current percentile average is higher than even Bryant's best decade (1970s) and ties what FSU did in the 1990s. Now Saban's squad just has to keep it up. The 2010s still have another four seasons to go.
No. 1 on this list is anything but surprising. No. 2, however? While Urban Meyer's Ohio State, Bob Stoops' Oklahoma, Les Miles' LSU, Chip Kelly's and Mark Helfrich's Oregon, and Jimbo Fisher's FSU have all had elite runs, no team has been as steadily great as Stanford. And that's even with the Cardinal's brief step backward in 2014.
Some other Pac-12 schools that are listed in the top 10 teams of every decade are: USC (1920s [#1], 1970s [#4], 2000s [#5]), UCLA (1950s [#4], 1980s [#8]), Colorado (1990s [#10]), and Utah (1930s [#5]).
With Stanford performing on the recruiting trail, Stanford should remain in the top 10 to finish out the decade.