Tip Top 25 in helmets, smaller
                                1947 National Championship

Fixing the Final 1947 AP College Football Poll

1) Notre Dame 9-0
2) Michigan 10-0
3) Southern Methodist 9-0-2
4) Penn State 9-0-1
5) Texas 10-1
6) Alabama 8-3
7) Penn 7-0-1
8) Southern Cal 7-2-1

9) North Carolina 8-2
10) Georgia Tech 10-1
11) Army 5-2-2
12) Kansas 8-1-2
13) Mississippi 9-2
14) William & Mary 9-2
15) California 9-1
16) Oklahoma 7-2-1
17) North Carolina State 5-3-1
18) Rice 6-3-1
19) Duke 4-3-2
20) Columbia 7-2
To the left is the final 1947 AP college football top 20. The fixed final AP poll, expanded to 25 teams, follows the article below.

This year there was unprecedented clamor for a post-season game between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Michigan for the national championship. But all outside proposals came to nothing, as Michigan coach Fritz Crisler had no interest in such a game. After Michigan stomped Southern Cal 49-0 in the Rose Bowl, a post-bowl AP poll was conducted, and Michigan was voted #1 over Notre Dame.

However, the AP poll declared that only the final regular season vote was "official," so Notre Dame is forever #1. To them, anyway. Normally, #1 in this poll would not require fixing, since either Notre Dame or Michigan would be a valid choice for #1 this season. But since I am only interested in post-bowl rankings, and since the AP did do a post-bowl poll (for #1 only, unfortunately), and since they did select Michigan #1 in that poll, that is what I am going with here.

Switch 'em: Michigan #1, Notre Dame #2.
Michigan fullback Jack Weisenbuger scoring a touchdown against Southern Cal in the 1948 Rose Bowl
Michigan fullback Jack Weisenburger was one of only 2 players that played both offense and defense for Michigan's seminal 2-platoon team. Here he is scoring one of his 3 touchdowns against Southern Cal in Michigan's 49-0 Rose Bowl win. A post-bowl AP poll selected 10-0 Michigan #1 over 9-0 Notre Dame, but that vote was not "official


Alabama took 2 upset losses to unranked opponents, so they had a worse relevant record than several teams sitting right behind them. They also lost their bowl game 27-7 to #5 Texas, so they would have dropped in a post-bowl poll anyway.

Alabama did give #10 Georgia Tech (10-1) their only loss, but it was a close (14-7) home win, and Alabama's 2 upset losses left them effectively a game worse than Georgia Tech on the season. And if we drop Alabama behind Georgia Tech, then they have a win over a higher-ranked opponent to somewhat balance out one of their 2 upset losses. So let's do that.

Drop Alabama to #10, moving Penn, Southern Cal, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech up 1 spot each.

Rice, Arkansas, Mississippi, and William & Mary

Unrated 6-4-1 Arkansas lost to 5-5 Baylor and they were tied by 3-6-1 Texas A&M, but they defeated #13 Mississippi 19-14 in Memphis, and they also defeated #14 William & Mary 21-19 in the Dixie Bowl in Birmingham. 9-2 Mississippi took an upset loss of their own, 10-6 at unrated 6-4 Vanderbilt, and they did not defeat a rated opponent. William & Mary did not defeat an opponent of any real value at all. So Arkansas should be rated ahead of both.

Arkansas lost to #18 Rice (6-3-1), but Rice was underrated and should also be ranked ahead of Mississippi and William & Mary. Rice took an upset loss at unrated 5-3-1 LSU in their opener, but then they tied now-#7 Southern Cal on the road. That tie gave them a better relevant record than not only Mississippi and William & Mary had, but several teams ranked ahead of Mississippi as well
. They were effectively a half game better than Alabama on the season, for example. Alabama did better than Rice did against LSU, beating them 41-12 while Rice lost to them 21-14, but Rice beat Tulane 33-0, who beat Alabama 21-20, and Rice lost at Texas by 12, while Alabama lost to Texas by 20 in the Sugar Bowl. But the big difference between them was Alabama's 2 upset losses to Rice's 1.

So Rice should be moved ahead of Alabama. They had a better relevant record than 10-1 Georgia Tech as well, but I can give that one to the AP poll, since GT's upset loss came to a very highly ranked opponent (Alabama), and it was their only blemish, so more easily regarded as an anomaly.

As for Arkansas, Mississippi, and William & Mary, the average ranking of the 3 teams would place them about where Oklahoma is, and since Oklahoma will be dropping anyway (as handled next), we'll put them ahead of Oklahoma.

Rice moves up to #10, dropping Alabama and all the teams that had been ranked between Alabama and Rice 1 spot each. Arkansas comes into the rankings at #15, Mississippi drops to #16, and William & Mary drops to #17. That moves California up 2 places, while Oklahoma and all the teams behind them drop 1 spot each. Another factor in favor of these rises for Rice and Arkansas is the fact that the SWC was #1 in nonconference winning percentage this season, a terrific 24-5-3.

Texas Christian and Oklahoma

Here we have a rare losing team coming into the poll. Texas Christian was 4-5-2, but they tied 8-1-2 Kansas (originally rated #12) and 9-0-2 SMU (#3), and they defeated 7-2-1 Oklahoma (#16) 20-7. They took 1 early upset loss to 3-7 Oklahoma State, but the rest of their losses and ties came to teams that were all ranked higher than Oklahoma was. As such, there's really no good reason for Oklahoma to be rated higher than TCU.

We'll place these 2 teams behind Columbia for now, though North Carolina State and Duke will be dropping back behind them, as handled next

Bring Texas Christian in at #21 and drop Oklahoma behind them at #22. North Carolina State, Duke, and Columbia all move up a slot.

Missouri, Duke, and North Carolina State

5-3-1 North Carolina State, originally ranked #17, lost to 4-3-2 Duke, originally #19, and they should have been ranked behind them to begin with. Duke, in turn, lost to unrated 6-4 Missouri, and they should have been ranked behind them. Missouri's win was rather decisive, 28-7 on the road. Since Missouri lost to Oklahoma 21-12, we'll place these teams behind the Sooners.

Missouri comes in at #21, Duke drops to #22, and North Carolina State drops to #23. Columbia, TCU, and Oklahoma all move up 2 spots.

Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan State, and North Carolina State

Even after we've dropped 5-3-1 North Carolina State back behind Duke, they still have an upset loss and a tie, both to unranked teams of course, and they did not beat any ranked teams. We can find better teams than that for the last 3 slots of the fixed top 25.

5-5 Tennessee, for example, took all 5 of their losses to teams the AP poll originally ranked in the top 20, the lowest of them being Duke. The Volunteers defeated 5-4 Boston College, 6-4 Vanderbilt, and most importantly, 8-3 Kentucky.

Kentucky only lost to rated teams and to Tennessee. They defeated 7-3 Cincinnati, 7-4-1 Georgia, 6-4 Vanderbilt, 6-4 West Virginia, 6-3-1 Villanova, and 7-2 Michigan State. That just blows NC State's meager "accomplishments" right off the planet.

7-2 Michigan State did not accomplish so much, but they did beat 7-3 Mississippi State, and they took no upset losses or ties, so they were effectively a game and half better than NC State on the season.

Bring Tennessee in at #23, Kentucky at #24, and Michigan State at #25. North Carolina State falls into oblivion.

Fixed AP Top 25

Only one team drops out of this fixed and expanded AP top 25, #17 North Carolina State (5-3-1). They took a loss and a tie to unranked teams, and they defeated no AP-rated teams. Discounting games against each other, the 6 teams that come into the fixed poll took a total of 3 losses and 1 tie to unranked teams, and they earned 4 wins and 2 ties against AP-rated teams.

1) Michigan 10-0 +1
2) Notre Dame 9-0 -1
3) Southern Methodist 9-0-2 --
4) Penn State 9-0-1 --
5) Texas 10-1 --
6) Pennsylvania 7-0-1 +1
7) Southern Cal 7-2-1 +1
8) North Carolina 8-2 +1
9) Georgia Tech 10-1 +1
10) Rice 6-3-1 +8
11) Alabama 8-3 -5
12) Army 5-2-2 -1
13) Kansas 8-1-2 -1
14) California 9-1 +1
15) Arkansas 6-4-1 IN
16) Mississippi 9-2 -3
17) William & Mary 9-2 -3
18) Columbia 7-2 +2
19) Texas Christian 4-5-2 IN
20) Oklahoma 7-2-1 -4
21) Missouri 6-4 IN
22) Duke 4-3-2 -3
23) Tennessee 5-5 IN
24) Kentucky 8-3 IN
25) Michigan State 7-2 IN

OUT: #17 North Carolina State 5-3-1

Fixed AP Polls
1947 National Championship