Top 25 Green Football Schools From

Almost since our inception in May, 2013, GreenSportsBlog has been all over the intersection of Green and (College) Sports. Blogger Elyssa Emrich is writing an occasional series on the “Greening of Big 10 Athletics”. We’ve looked at the Sierra College’s Top 10 Greenest Colleges/Universities through a sports lens. And, just a couple of weeks ago, we highlighted the Zero-Waste efforts of 3 major sports programs: Colorado, Florida, and Ohio State. has joined the intersection of Green-College Sports party by taking a green look at the preseason Associated Press college football Top 25., a site that helps consumers find the “right energy plan at a great price”, has jumped into the Greening of College Athletics world with an innovative take on the AP preseason college football Top 25 poll–it re-ranks those 25 football schools based on their greenness. Jennifer Koniuk’s insightful story details how the team analyzed each of the schools in the football Top 25 poll from a number of green/sustainability metrics, including:

  • Waste diversion rate
  • Stadium sustainability efforts
  • Number of active green organizations
  • Percentage of budget spent on locally grown or organic foods
  • Level of Environmental Studies degrees offered

So, when the AP preseason Top 25 college football schools are re-ranked based on greenness, the PAC 12’s University of Washington, which barely made the football list at #25, soars to the top. It gets high marks for an “in-game recycling program, public area composting and a national waste diversion challenge,” among many other items.

uw boats

Aerial view of Husky Stadium in Seattle, home of University of Washington football. “U-Dub” earned SaveOnEnergy’s top ranking as the greenest university among the AP preseason college football Top 25. One reason is that a portion of the 72,500 fans arrive by boat. (Photo Credit:

And, while the SEC may dominate on the fields of green, the PAC 12 is certainly the conference to beat in the green field as Stanford takes #2 honors in the poll (#11 in AP). The Cardinal was commended for its aggressive public promotion of its recycling efforts, including print and radio ads, in-game announcements and tabling at the pre-game FanFests.

The Big 10’s Ohio State (#5 in AP) rounds out the Green Top 3. It commends (as did GreenSportsBlog), the Horseshoe (aka Ohio Stadium), with a capacity north of 100,000, for becoming the nation’s largest Zero-Waste stadium.

The remainder of the Green Top 10 are (conference affiliation and preseason AP Poll ranking listed):

4. Texas A&M (SEC, #21)

5. UCLA (PAC 12, #7)

6. North Carolina (ACC, #23)

7. Clemson (ACC, #16)

8. Florida State (ACC, #1)

9. Nebraska (Big 10, #22)

10. Wisconsin (Big 10, #14)

In case you were wondering (and we know that you were!) Ohio State has the best combined ranking number (8), if one adds its AP ranking (5) with the green ranking (3). Next comes Florida State with a combined 9 (1 on field +8 green)  and then UCLA with a combined 12 (7 on field + 5 green).

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