The best football colleges in Virginia are spread across Virginia, proof of the state’s love for football and how much football education is prioritized in Virginia.
Today’s student-athletes have a variety of higher education alternatives available to them, and deciding on which one to take could be challenging. You can use our ranking of the top football schools in Virginia as one tool to aid in your decision-making.
But after scrutinizing the educational options offered by each, we came up with a list of the top ten Virginia football colleges. We use several factors, all of which are measurements based on science, to produce this rating.
The institution’s overall excellence, as measured by our Best Colleges ranking, and the intensity of its athletic competition are among these criteria. The school must provide excellent education and a strong athletic program to rank well.
Does Virginia Have Football Colleges?
There are many football Colleges in Virginia. These football Colleges have different football teams. Some of the football colleges in Virginia are:
- Virginia Tech
- George Mason University
- Shenandoah Universit
- Old Dominion University
- Hampton University
- James Madison University
- Liberty University
- Longwood University
- Norfolk State University
- Radford University
- University of Virginia
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- University of Richmond
For Further Reading, check: 10 Best Football Colleges in South Carolina
How Many College Football Teams in Virginia?
Surprisingly, there are 310 football teams in Virginia. This number consists of senior football teams, junior football teams, and high school football teams.
Each team belongs to a college or high school.
Also read, 10 Best Football Colleges in Illinois
Does Virginia have Ivy League Schools?
The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States comprising eight private academic universities in the Northeastern United States.
The term Ivy League is commonly used outside of athletics to refer to the eight schools as a consortium of elite colleges with implications of academic brilliance, admissions selectivity, and social elitism.
Unfortunately, there are no Ivy League schools in Virginia.
You would also find these helpful: 10 Best Football Colleges in Ohio
What Are The Best Football Colleges in Virginia?
There are many football colleges in Virginia, but some are considered the best among them. The best football colleges in Virginia are:
1. University of Virginia
The Virginia Cavaliers football team competes in American football for the University of Virginia. Virginia, founded in 1888, plays its home games in Scott Stadium, which seats 61,500 people and is located right on campus near the Academical Village.
After a Georgia fullback died fighting the tide of a blowout Virginia victory in 1897, UVA had an outsized role in developing the contemporary game’s ethics, eligibility criteria, and safety restrictions.
Furthermore, with 28 straight winning seasons from its first in 1888, Virginia football quickly established itself as the South’s first great program, winning 12 southern championships and becoming the first Southern program to defeat perennial power (26-time national champions), Yale in a 10-0 shocker at the Yale Bowl in 1915.
Virginia established long-lasting rivalries that still exist today, most notably the South’s Oldest Rivalry with North Carolina and a strong rivalry with VPI (now Virginia Tech). Since 1908, Virginia has also played (now FCS) William & Mary on an annual or biennial basis.
2. Old Dominion University
The Old Dominion Monarchs are the football team for Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The team’s earliest incarnation, founded in 1930, was known as the William & Mary Norfolk Division Braves.
For the first two seasons, the current Monarchs squad, created in 2009, competed at the FCS level as an unaffiliated team.
They entered the Colonial Athletic Association of the FCS in 2011 and added league games to their schedule, playing there until 2014, when they joined the FBS’s Conference USA.
Old Dominion began to play as an independent team in Division I FCS (previously I-AA) in 2009, then joined the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2011. The Monarchs ended with a 9-2 record in their first competitive season in 68 years.
Also, that was the finest winning record in college football history for a first-year program. In their two losses, the Monarchs were outscored by eight points.
Wilder’s first squad concluded the season ranked in the top ten in five FCS statistical categories, including sacks allowed, scoring offense, turnover margin, and net punting. The Monarchs finished eighth in running an offense in 2009.
3. Virginia Tech
The Virginia Tech Hokies football team competes in American football for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Hokies compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division.
They used to play in the Big East. Lane Stadium, located in Blacksburg, Virginia, has a seating capacity of over 65,000 supporters and hosts their home games. Lane Stadium is regarded as one of the loudest stadiums in the country, ranking second in ESPN’s 2007 “Top 20 Scariest Places to Play.”  It was also named the top home-field advantage in the country by Rivals.com in 2005.
Also, since their inception in 1892, the Hokies have won over 700 games and competed in 33 bowl games, including the BCS National Championship game in 2000. In terms of victories, the Hokies are ranked 23rd among all Division I college football teams.
Starting with the 1993 Independence Bowl and continuing until the 2019 Belk Bowl, the program has a streak of 27 consecutive bowl appearances. This was college football’s fourth-longest streak of consecutive bowl game appearances. In addition, the program has won eleven conference championships (3 South Atlantic, 1 Southern, 3 Big East, and 4 ACC) and produced eight All-Americans.
4. Liberty University
In college football, the Liberty Flames represent Liberty University, a private Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Flames compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as an independent.
The program, which formerly competed in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), announced in July 2017 that it would begin transitioning to the top level of NCAA football.
The Flames earned provisional FBS membership in 2018 and full FBS membership with bowl eligibility in 2019. For the first time in program history, Liberty reached the AP Poll at number 25 in 2020.
Additionally, Liberty University announced in 2021 that the Flames would join Conference USA as full members beginning with the 2023 football season.
5. James Madison University
In the sport of American football, Duke’s football program represents James Madison University. The Dukes play in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a Sun Belt League (SBC) member, commencing conference play in 2023.
Furthermore, the Dukes play at the on-campus Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where they have played since 1972. Curt Cignetti is Duke’s current coach.
Since the early 1990s, the JMU football team has been the focal point of JMU athletics. The Dukes maintained their rise to national prominence under former head coach Mickey Matthews, capturing the FCS National Championship in 2004. The Dukes won their second National Championship in 2016 and finished second in 2017 and 2019.
Notable Dukes include Charles Haley, one of only two players to win five Super Bowl rings and an inductee into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Scott Norwood of the Buffalo Bills; Gary Clark, an All-Pro wide receiver for the Washington Redskins; and Arthur Moats, a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers who is known for delivering the sack that resulted in Brett Favre’s record streak of (NFL).
6. University of Richmond
The Richmond Spiders are a collegiate football team from Richmond, Virginia, that plays for the University of Richmond. Richmond won the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision title in 2008. Richmond plays in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision’s Colonial Athletic Association.
On December 14, 2016, the former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman was named head coach of the Spiders, succeeding Danny Rocco, who had left to become head coach at the University of Delaware the day before.
Also, No. 7 Richmond advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship versus Montana in 2008 after defeating Eastern Kentucky, Appalachian State, and Northern Iowa.
Additionally, on December 19, 2008, they defeated Montana 24-7 in the FCS National Championship Game to claim the University of Richmond’s first team NCAA national title in any sport.
7. Williams & Mary
The College of William & Mary’s football team, known as the William & Mary Tribe, plays in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Division I Football Championship Subdivision of the NCAA has William & Mary as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Moving on, in his second season leading the Tribe, Mike London. Jimmye Laycock, the Tribe’s head coach for 39 years, is succeeded by him.
Richmond University has historically been a football foe of William & Mary. The rivalry between William & Mary and Richmond, commonly referred to as “the South’s longest rivalry,” has been played 120 times since 1898, ranking it as the fourth most prevalent in Division I college football.
Lafayette-Lehigh, Princeton-Yale, and Harvard-Yale are the only teams with more games played. The Capital Cup, formerly known as the I-64 Trophy and named for the last two capitals of Virginia, Richmond, and Williamsburg, is awarded to the victor of this annual W&M-Richmond contest.
Lastly, the Jimmye Laycock Football Center, which houses the Tribe locker room, football players’ classroom study sessions, and tape review rooms, debuted in 2008 at William & Mary.
8. Virginia Union University
The Virginia Union Panthers are the college sports teams that compete for Richmond, Virginia’s Virginia Union University in NCAA Division II. All 13 varsity sports played by the Panthers are part of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Since 1912, Virginia Union has participated in the conference.
Virginia Union plays basketball and volleyball in the Barco-Stevens Hall, formerly known as the Belgian Building for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The structure, one of thirteen deemed “exceptional” by NCAA News in 2005, features stone reliefs depicting the Belgian Congo.
Also, the university received the building in 1941 and was moved to its current position in 1943. Early in 1947, the basketball team started making use of the space.
9. Norfolk State University
In Division I FCS college football, Norfolk State University is represented by the Spartans football team. The team plays its home games in Norfolk, Virginia, at William “Dick” Price Stadium.
However, the Spartans have played in four bowl games and have a 0-3-1 record.
The Spartans have made just one FCS playoff appearance and have a 0-1 overall record.
On November 26, 2011, NSU and Old Dominion played each other for the first time in the FCS playoff round. The Spartans lost 35-18.
To fill in the free game dates for ODU’s move to the FBS, Old Dominion and NSU recently signed a new agreement for the home and away series in 2013 and 2015. ODU plays at Foreman Field, while NSU plays at Dick Price Stadium.
10. Virginia Commonwealth University
The club football squad that plays for Virginia Commonwealth University is called the VCU Rams. In 2011, the club team was established. The 1970s saw the operation of a club football squad under the direction of business manager Alan Brenner.
However, away games were played with Duke University and other club teams, while home games were played at a nearby high school stadium. Dave Trinkle was the coach; he had played briefly as a kicker for the Redskins.
There has been growing support at VCU for the Athletic Department to run a varsity football program before the debut of a club football team. The creation of a varsity football program at Old Dominion University, a significant rival of VCU, as well as the recent success of the VCU Rams men’s basketball team, have contributed significantly to the push for a squad.
Additionally, Lamar Bell will be the head coach of the current club squad, which will compete against adjacent Virginia colleges and universities without varsity football programs. VCU sells shirts boasting that its football team is “Still Undefeated.”
What are the Best Junior Colleges in Virginia for Football?
The best Junior football colleges in virginía are listed below:
- Central Virginia Community College
- Southwest Virginia Community College
Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in California
What Division (d1) Football Colleges Are in Virginia?
With many Division I college athletic programs found throughout, Virginia is no stranger to thrilling, competitive NCAA action. They include:
- George Mason University
- Hampton University
- James Madison University
- Liberty University
- Longwood University
- Old Dominion University
To see a comprehensive list of the teams, click here
What is the Division 2 (d2) Football Colleges in Virginia?
There are also D-2 football Colleges in Virginia, and they include:
- Emory and Henry College
- Virginia State University
- Virginia Union University
- University of Virginia’s College at Wise
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What is the Division 3 (d3) Football Colleges in Virginia?
D3 football colleges in Virginia focus more on their academics than football. They include:
- Averett University
- Bridgewater College
- Eastern Mennonite University
- Ferrum College
How to Join Football Clubs in Virginia
Before playing in any of the Virginia football teams, you must register in the club. To join the Virginia football clubs.
Virginia football colleges are excellent because they assist in developing young athletes’ bodies.
I hope this essay will help you decide which college to enroll in and which football team, if any, to play for.
Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in the UK
Frequently Asked Questions
How many D1 football schools are in Virginia?
There are 14 D1 football schools in Virginia.
What is the best high school football team in Virginia?
You can accept an offer from a D3 school after being recruited, but you are not accepting an athletic scholarship.
Is D1 better than D2?
D1 athletes are more talented and frequently stand a higher chance of earning scholarships and making it to the professional ranks in their sport. D2 athletes have more time to devote to their studies and indulge in extracurricular activities.
- fieldlevel.com– Football Teams in Virginia
- wikipedia.org– List of college athletic programs in Virginia
- niche.com– Best College Athletics in Virginia