Tip Top 25 in helmets, smaller
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Fixing the Final 1964 AP College Football Poll

1) Alabama 10-1
2) Arkansas 11-0
3) Notre Dame 9-1
4) Michigan 9-1
5) Texas 10-1
6) Nebraska 9-2
7) Louisiana State 8-2-1
8) Oregon State 8-3
9) Ohio State 7-2
10) Southern Cal 7-3
To the left is the final 1964 AP college football top 10. That's right, 10. That's all the AP poll ranked 1962-1967. You can access all of these teams' full schedules here: College Football Data Warehouse (amongst a number of other places). The fixed final AP poll, expanded to 25 teams, follows the article below. 

Because the AP poll ended before the bowls were played, the first fix is easy to see. Texas took Alabama down 21-17 in a great game in the Orange Bowl, and should therefore be ranked ahead of the Tide. Their only loss came to 11-0 Arkansas, who should be #1.

Move Arkansas up to #1, Texas to #2, drop Alabama to #3, and drop 9-1 Notre Dame and 9-1 Michigan back 1 spot each.

But the AP poll didn't just ignore bowl games back in these years-- they ignored regular season games played in December too. That mattered in the case of #7 LSU, who lost 20-6 to 7-3 Florida at home on December 5th. I'm not sure what the point ever was for ending their rankings before even the regular season was done, but I certainly am glad the AP poll got past this little "tradition" a few years afterward.
1965 Cotton Bowl, Arkansas vs. Nebraska
Arkansas' stifling defense shut Nebraska down long enough to enable the Razorbacks to rally in the 4th quarter for a 10-7 win in the Cotton Bowl. Conference-mate Texas then knocked off #1 Alabama in the Orange Bowl that evening, leaving Arkansas the true #1 of 1964.

Florida State, Florida, and Louisiana State

9-1-1 Florida State (#11 coaches' poll) beat 7-3 Florida 16-7, and Florida beat 8-2-1 LSU 20-6, so that chain's simple enough. Florida did take an upset loss to 7-3-1 Georgia, but LSU was tied by 4-5-1 Tennessee, and their schedule was rather weak. The only team LSU beat that will be rated in the fixed and expanded AP top 25 is 7-4 Syracuse, who will be #23 (as detailed below), and they eked that one out just 13-10. LSU also had numerous poor performances.

LSU would obviously have fallen out of the AP top 10 after their December loss anyway, so we'll just put these 3 teams in at the end of the current list.

That moves Oregon State, Ohio State, and Southern Cal up 1 spot each, while Florida State comes in at #10, Florida at #11, and LSU drops to #12.

Oregon State

8-3 Oregon State was trounced 34-7 by Michigan in the Rose Bowl, so they too would have fallen out of the top 10, and they were overrated to begin with. They took 2 upset losses (3-6 Northwestern and 5-5 Stanford) and repeatedly struggled to beat bad teams. LSU struggled almost as much against bad teams, but they took just one upset tie, far better than OSU's 2 upset losses, so we'll move the Beavers to the back of the bus, behind LSU. That's likely where the AP poll would have dropped them anyway.

Drop Oregon State to #12, moving Ohio State, Southern Cal, Florida State, Florida, and LSU up 1 slot each
.

Princeton

9-0 Princeton (coaches' #13) is this year's token Ivy League team. Hard to know where the AP poll would have ranked them-- perhaps as high as #10, or possibly back behind Tulsa and Utah (discussed below). We'll go with the coaches and bring Princeton in next. They do make one team Oregon State looks good next to, since Princeton played a worthless FCS-level schedule.

Princeton #13.

Tulsa

9-2 Utah (coaches' #14) was squashed by Missouri, and should be rated back behind Missouri (I'll handle that case below). 9-2 Tulsa (coaches' #18), however, does not have that problem, so let's bring them in next. Tulsa lost at #1 Arkansas 31-22, and they were upset 28-23 at 8-2 Cincinnati, who lost to a pair of unrated teams and was not quite good enough to be rated. Tulsa did not beat anyone of much value, but they did put up some big numbers on their weak schedule.

Tulsa #14.

Georgia

7-3-1 Georgia wasn't rated in the coaches' top 20 at all, but they were among the AP poll's "others receiving votes." Georgia took an upset loss to 6-4 Auburn and a tie with 3-5-2 South Carolina, but they made up for the loss with a win over now-#10 Florida, and they also beat 7-3 Georgia Tech and 6-4-1 Texas Tech in the Sun Bowl. They actually have the same relevant record as now-#11 Louisiana State, so let's compare them to LSU.

As noted, Georgia was upset by 6-4 Auburn, and LSU did not take an upset loss, but Georgia beat Florida, who beat LSU 20-6, so they're even there. Georgia's upset tie at 3-5-2 South Carolina is comparable to LSU's home tie with 4-5-1 Tennessee. But outside of those games, Georgia outperformed LSU. Georgia struggled once over a losing team, 7-0 at 3-6-1 Vanderbilt, but LSU won just 9-6 over 1-9 Texas A&M at home, 3-0 at 4-5-1 Rice, 11-10 over 5-5-1 Mississippi at home, and 14-10 over 4-6 Mississippi State at home. Frankly, I cannot find one reason for LSU to be ranked higher than Georgia.

Therefore, they shall not be. Bring Georgia in at #11, dropping Louisiana State, Oregon State, Princeton, and Tulsa 1 spot each.

Purdue and Illinois

6-3 Illinois was #16 in the coaches' poll, but they lost 26-14 to unrated 6-3 Purdue, and should not have been rated ahead of Purdue. Purdue did not appear on any AP voter's ballot-- underrated every year in the 1960s, it would seem. The Boilermakers were upset by 4-5 Michigan State and 5-4 Minnesota, but they made up for one of those losses by giving now-#5 Michigan their only loss. That obviously puts them ahead of Oregon State, who of course took 2 upset losses and beat no highly rated team. Illinois belongs ahead of Oregon State as well, since they took no upset losses, putting them effectively 2 games ahead of OSU, and they performed far better than Oregon State to boot.

Bring Purdue in at #13, Illinois at #14, and drop Oregon State and everyone behind them another 2 slots.

Georgia Tech and Auburn

7-3 Georgia Tech and 6-4 Auburn were not rated by the coaches' poll, but both were among the AP poll's "others receiving votes." Georgia Tech took an upset loss to 4-5-1 Tennessee, but they beat Auburn by a score of 7-3. Auburn took an upset loss at 5-5 Kentucky, but they made up for that with a 14-7 win over now-#11 Georgia.

Like Purdue and Illinois, both had better relevant records than Oregon State, and should be rated higher than the Beavers. That drops OSU a full 9 spots from where the AP poll had rated them, but that rating was before they were destroyed 34-7 in the Rose Bowl by Michigan, and as I've said, they were overrated to begin with. In addition to their losses to 3-6 Northwestern and 5-5 Stanford, Oregon State won just 14-7 at 2-8 Colorado, 13-6 at 5-5 Baylor, and 10-7 over 4-6 Idaho, so they were poor in the majority of their games. 6-4 Auburn did not perform as strongly as 6-3 Illinois, but they certainly outperformed Oregon State.

Bring Georgia Tech in at #15 and Auburn at #16, dropping Oregon State and everyone behind them yet another 2 spots.

Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah

9-2 Utah would have been ranked pretty highly in a fuller AP poll, probably ahead of Tulsa (the coaches had Utah at #14, Tulsa at #18), but 6-3-1 Missouri flattened Utah 23-6, and should be rated ahead of them. Missouri was #18 in the coaches' poll (tied with Tulsa), but they did not appear on any AP poll voter's ballot, whereas Tulsa did. So we'll bring Missouri and Utah in behind Tulsa.

But 6-4-1 Oklahoma, who did appear in the AP poll's "others receiving votes" section, should be rated ahead of Missouri. The 2 teams tied each other, but Oklahoma was 5-1-1 in Big 8 play, Missouri 4-2-1. Oklahoma had a worse straight record than Missouri only because they played nonconference games against now-#2 Texas, now-#8 Southern Cal, and now-#10 Florida State, and Missouri did not play a top 10 nonconference opponent.

Oklahoma had a better relevant record than Tulsa, and could be rated higher than them, but the AP poll would not have done so, and that is a valid choice. Tulsa took 1 upset loss, but they performed very strongly otherwise (including a 61-14 win over Oklahoma State, whom Oklahoma edged 21-16).

Bring Oklahoma in at #20, Missouri at #21, and Utah at #22.

Oregon, Syracuse, and Penn State

The coaches had 7-4 Syracuse #12 and 6-4 Penn State #14, but with Syracuse's bowl loss they would have presumably slipped a bit in a post-bowl poll. They still belong ahead of Penn State, whom they beat 21-12 on the road. Also belonging ahead of the Nittany Lions is 7-2-1 Oregon, who won 22-14 at Penn State. Oregon was not ranked by the coaches, but they were one of the AP poll's "others receiving votes," along with Syracuse and Penn State.

Syracuse took 2 upset losses, at 6-3 Boston College and at 7-4 West Virginia (neither of whom will quite make the fixed and expanded AP top 25), while Oregon took 1 upset loss (5-5 Stanford) and a tie (3-6-1 Washington State), so Oregon was effectively a half game ahead of Syracuse. However, Syracuse's upsets came to much better teams, and both on the road, whereas both of Oregon's upsets were at home. Syracuse slightly outperformed Oregon as well, and though they lost their bowl game, it was an impressive effort, a 13-10 loss to now-#11 LSU in the Sugar Bowl. That loss might have dropped them back behind Oregon in a fuller (top 20-25) post-bowl AP poll, but it shouldn't have. So we'll bring Syracuse in just ahead of Oregon.

Syracuse does not belong ahead of now-#20 Utah, however, because of their 2 upset losses. Both polls would have rated Utah higher post-bowl anyway.


Bring Syracuse in at #23, Oregon at #24, and Penn State at #25.

Fixed and Expanded AP Top 25

So here it is, the 1964 AP poll fixed and expanded to 25. It should be noted that 9-2 New Mexico was rated #16 by the coaches, but they did not receive any votes in the AP poll, lost to 5-4-1 Utah State, beat no one of value (top win 18-14 at home over 6-4 New Mexico State), and they had a number of weak performances (20-12 over 0-8-2 UTEP, 9-7 over 3-7 Kansas State, and 10-7 over 6-3-1 Arizona, all at home). 5-5-1 Mississippi and 4-5 Michigan State were tied for #20 in the coaches' poll, though Mississippi then lost to Tulsa 14-7 in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Michigan State may have had a losing record, but they were actually a viably rankable team. However, I don't think the AP poll would have rated them, so I'll leave them out-- let's say they're #26.

1) Arkansas 11-0
+1
2) Texas 10-1+3
3) Alabama 10-1 -2
4) Notre Dame 9-1 -1
5) Michigan 9-1 -1
6) Nebraska 9-2 --
7) Ohio State 7-2 +2
8) Southern Cal 7-3 +2
9) Florida State 9-1-1 IN
10) Florida 7-3 IN
11) Georgia 7-3-1 IN
12) Louisiana State 8-2-1 -5
13) Purdue 6-3 IN
14) Illinois 6-3 IN
15) Georgia Tech 7-3 IN
16) Auburn 6-4 IN
17) Oregon State 8-3 -9
18) Princeton 9-0 IN
19) Tulsa 9-2 IN
20) Oklahoma 6-4-1 IN
21) Missouri 6-3-1 IN
22) Utah 9-2 IN
23) Syracuse 7-4 IN
24) Oregon 7-2-1 IN
25) Penn State 6-4 IN