Fixed AP Polls
Annual Top 25 1901-1935
How to Rate College Football Teams
you are a voter in the AP poll, the coaches' poll, the Harris poll, a
fan poll, or are just interested in ranking college football teams
yourself, I am here to help you get better at it. And judging by
various poll results I've seen over the years, chances are you have room for improvement.
Access the entire guide here: How to Rate College Football Teams
Fixing the Final AP College Football Poll for the 2013 SeasonHere
it is, the final 2013 AP poll, cleansed of logical errors! This AP poll
was much better than usual, and required relatively little fixing, but
it holds some good examples of the complexity of accounting for
head-to-head results. Some people think that when 2 teams have the same
record, and one team beats the other, the winner should always be rated
higher. Not so. What if the loser defeated 2 teams that the winner lost
to? In that case, all else being equal, the loser of the head-to-head
matchup should be ranked higher.
This poll has a lot of trouble properly accounting for head-to-head results: Fixing the Final 2013 AP Poll
have also repaired the errors in all the AP polls going back to the
first one in 1936. You can find those repaired polls by clicking the Fixed AP Polls link at the upper left of this page, or by clicking this one right here.
The Greatest College Football Programs of the AP Poll EraNow
that I have fixed all the AP polls 1936-2013, we can total up the
numbers and see which programs have truly been the best since 1936. You
know the drill:
each team gets 25 points for each #1 finish, 24 for #2, etc., down to 1
point for a #25 finish. If you do this with the original AP polls,
Oklahoma is #1 overall since 1936. But in the far more accurate fixed
polls, Oklahoma is only #4.
Who's #1? And who's #120? Hit the link for the entire top-to-bottom list: Greatest Programs of the AP Poll Era
But wait, that's not all! I've got a couple more AP Poll era lists for your perusing pleasure:
Most Overrated and Underrated Programs in AP Poll History
Greatest College Football Dynasties of the AP Poll Era
More Lists!I hope you love lists as much as I do-- but
if you're a college football fan, I know you do. And rest assured,
you'll not have to trudge your way through a 50-page "slide show" for
any list I ever compile. Hit the links, and the whole lists are there--
the way God intended the internet to be. Hallelujah.
Top Major-College Football Coaches of All Time by Winning Percentage
Top College Football Coaches of the AP Poll Era by Total Ranking Points
The 1901 College Football National Championship
deserves the imaginary trophy for the mythical national championship of
1901, Harvard or Michigan? Or should they share it? The experts of 1901
said Harvard. The experts today say Michigan. Who is right? For many
older seasons, there is no clear answer to such questions. But there is a clear answer
Take a look at my analysis and I think you'll agree: 1901 National Championship
have also written articles summarizing the mythical national
championship race for each season 1902 through 1940, with more to come below.
You can find those summaries by clicking the National Champions link at the upper left of this page. Or this one.
Fixing the Final 1936 AP College Football PollHere
it is, the very first AP college football poll, fully repaired and made
sensible. After 2 1/2 years, I've finally fixed every AP poll. Now I'm
going to Disneyland. This was a good one too, with a full-blown
controversy at the top of the poll. Minnesota finished #1, but
Pittsburgh likely would have finished #1 if the AP had conducted a poll
after the bowls, and writers continued to argue about it through the
Who should have been the first #1?: Fixing the Final 1936 AP Poll
1927 College Football Top 25The
Southwest had its best season ever to this point in history, and though
1927's hypothetical AP poll voters wouldn't have given them as much
respect as I think they deserved, 4 Southwest teams make this top 25,
and another couple fall just outside it, and that would have been
unprecedented in 1927. The top 10 was dominated by the Great Lakes
region, Notre Dame and 3 Big 10 teams.
But the Southwest was actually a deeper region in the top 35 teams this year: 1927 Top 25
am currently creating hypothetical AP poll top 25s for every season
prior to the actual AP poll's debut in 1936, going back to 1901. You
can find those here.
The 1945 College Football National ChampionshipArmy
continued their incredibly dominating rampage this season with another
9-0 campaign, this time outscoring their opposition by an average of
46-5, and outscoring 5 top 10 opponents by an average of 43-7. Alabama
went 10-0 this year, and Oklahoma State went 9-0, but only Alabama
makes a fit contender to Army's crown. Oklahoma State had neither the
schedule nor performance to compare, whereas no one came within a
touchdown of Alabama this season.
Can Alabama squeeze out a sharing spot on Army's throne?: 1945 National Championship
1926 College Football Top 25The
East was still holding on as a power region in 1926, and they place 12
teams in this top 25, headlined by #1 Navy, the consensus choice as MNC
at the time (though not in later decades by organizations selecting
MNCs retroactively). The Great Lakes region (Big 10 and Notre Dame)
took 6 spots, and the West Coast took 5.
The rest of the country scrambled for the 2 remaining slots: 1926 Top 25
The 1946 College Football National Championship#1
Army, attempting to win its 3rd straight MNC, met #2 Notre Dame in a
"Game of the Century" this season, and the teams fought to a 0-0 draw.
Army finished 9-0-1, Notre Dame 8-0-1, but Army barely beat 1-8 Navy
21-18 in their finale, allowing Notre Dame to pass them up for #1 in
the final AP poll. Relatively ignored in the shadows of these giants
was 11-0 Georgia, who won all their games by more than a touchdown.
Which of these 3 contenders merits the throne for 1946?: 1946 National Championship
NEW!-- 1925 College Football Top 251925
was very deep in strong football teams, and I think a top 40 for 1925
is comparable to a top 25 of today, so for this article I include a
bonus. After listing the top 25 teams, I also rank the next 15 in
order, giving us a top 40. That lets some little big teams get a little
time in the light: Hawaii, St. Mary's (California), Ohio Wesleyan, Carnegie, Georgetown, Colorado State, Fordham, and Louisville.
The whole list is here: 1925 Top 25
NEW!-- The 1947 College Football National Championship9-0
Notre Dame, the reigning AP poll champion of 1946, waged a season-long
war with 10-0 Michigan for #1 this season, and the 2 teams switched
places at the top 4 times. It was Notre Dame that finished there, at
least officially. But after Michigan destroyed Southern Cal 49-0 in the
Rose Bowl, there was a great outcry for a post-bowl poll, and the AP
obliged. Michigan came out on top in that poll, though the AP declared
that it was not "official." Meanwhile, 10-1 Texas may have taken a
loss, but they played 7 top 25 teams this season, while Michigan and
Notre Dame each played just 2, and that makes Texas a contender for the
1947 MNC in my book.
Who is fit for a crown this season?: 1947 National Championship