Tip Top 25 in helmets, smaller
                                1967 National Championship

Fixing the Final 1967 AP College Football Poll

1) Southern Cal 10-1
2) Tennessee 9-2
3) Oklahoma 10-1
4) Indiana 9-2
5) Notre Dame 8-2
6) Wyoming 10-1
7) Oregon State 7-2-1
8) Alabama 8-2-1
9) Purdue 8-2
10) Penn State 8-2-1
To the left is the final 1967 AP college football top 10. That's right, 10. That's all the AP poll ranked 1962-1967. The fixed final AP poll, expanded to 25 teams, follows the article below. 

The AP poll is a lot harder to fix and expand to 25 teams during this time period, largely because of their reduction to a mere 10 teams through much of the 1960s. But another problem is that the poll did not include bowl games through 1967 (except for one season, 1965). In fact, the poll ended in November, so they also did not include a lot of regular season games over the years.

They often didn't count Army-Navy games, and this season they also dismissed other December games such as Tennessee-Vanderbilt and Florida-Miami. Needless to say, I am just not interested in a ranking that ends at some arbitrary point in the season, before all the games have been played, and frankly, I don't know why anyone was ever interested in that.

So let's get to work and make this ranking properly reflect the full and actual 1967 football season.
O. J. Simpson in the 1968 Rose Bowl
O. J. Simpson rushed for 128 yards and both touchdowns in Southern Cal's 14-3 Rose Bowl win over Indiana.

Oklahoma and Tennessee

#3 Oklahoma defeated #2 Tennessee 26-24 in the Orange Bowl, so that's an easy fix.

Switch 'em: Oklahoma #2, Tennessee #3.

Purdue and Notre Dame

Just like in 1969 and 1968, in 1967 Purdue defeated Notre Dame (28-21 at home) and still wound up ranked behind them. One has to wonder why the teams bothered playing each other every year, because apparently those games just never counted for sportswriters of the time. 8-2 Notre Dame didn't do much this season, their only win of value coming 24-22 at 7-4 Miami-Florida. 8-2 Purdue, on the other hand, defeated 8-2 Minnesota 41-12, 6-3 Ohio State 41-6, and 7-4 Texas A&M 24-20, the last 2 on the road, in addition to beating Notre Dame. This is no contest.

Purdue lost to #7 Oregon State, so we'll move Purdue up behind Oregon State and drop Notre Dame behind Purdue, where they belong. That gives us the following shift: Wyoming #5, Oregon State #6, Purdue #7, Notre Dame #8, Alabama #9.


#4 Indiana (9-2) greatly overachieved this season, earning the school's only Rose Bowl invite by sharing the Big 10 title with Purdue and Minnesota. This hinged on their one win of value, 19-14 over Purdue at home in their finale. That came one week after Minnesota stomped them 33-7, and prior to that, Indiana barely got by a lineup of losing teams week after week, edging Kentucky 12-10, Kansas 18-15, Iowa 21-17, Michigan 27-20, Wisconsin 14-9, and Michigan State 14-13. Clearly, Indiana was barely a top 20 team power-wise, and outside of their one win over Purdue, they performed more like a #40 team at best.

Purdue and Indiana played 4 common opponents, and Purdue outscored those teams 145-50, while Indiana was outscored by those same teams 62-70! Purdue also defeated 4 winning teams, 3 of whom will be rated in the fixed and expanded top 25, while Indiana beat just 1-- Purdue. There is simply no question that Purdue was a better team, and should be ranked higher. Notre Dame also performed far better than Indiana, and though Indiana defeated Purdue (who beat Notre Dame), the Hoosiers also took that ugly 33-7 loss to lower-rated Minnesota, and Notre Dame did not take an upset loss.

I would rate Indiana around #18 at best, but the AP poll can keep them ahead of Alabama, who was upset 20-16 by 7-4 Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, a result that the AP poll obviously did not count (and thus Alabama will be dropping, as covered below). And Penn State, who sits behind Alabama, took an upset loss to 5-4-1 Navy in their opener and an upset tie with 7-2-2 Florida State in the Gator Bowl.

So we'll just drop Indiana behind Notre Dame, moving Wyoming to #4, Oregon State to #5, Purdue to #6, Notre Dame to #7, and Indiana to #8.


7-2-1 UCLA dropped out of the final AP top 10 because of a big 32-14 home loss to 8-2 Syracuse. However, UCLA also defeated #3 Tennessee, #10 Penn State, and they tied now-#5 Oregon State, all of which more than makes up for the one loss to Syracuse. Furthermore, their other loss was by a mere 1 point to #1 Southern Cal. Clearly they were underrated.

Let's compare them to  7-2-1 Oregon State, who had the same straight record and tied UCLA. Both also had the same conference record, 4-1-1. And both defeated a higher ranked team-- UCLA over Tennessee and Oregon State over Southern Cal. But where they differ is the fact that UCLA took one upset loss (to 8-2 Syracuse), while Oregon State took 2 (to 5-5 Washington and 6-4 Brigham Young). That means that UCLA had a relevant record that was effectively 1 game better than OSU's. UCLA also performed better-- they had 1 close win over a losing opponent, while OSU had 3.

Oregon State can't drop, as they're already right in front of Purdue, whom they defeated, so we'll move UCLA all the way up ahead of them, to #5, dropping Oregon State and everyone behind them 1 spot each.


Had the AP poll's writers voted after the bowls, they would certainly have punished 8-2-1 Penn State for their Gator Bowl tie with 7-2-2 Florida State (#15 in coaches' poll), and dropped the Nittany Lions back behind 8-2 Syracuse. So in this one case, perhaps it is best that the writers did not vote after the bowls.

Penn State beat Syracuse 29-20 on the road, but Syracuse upset now-#5 UCLA, and UCLA beat Penn State. PSU's bowl tie with FSU leaves Syracuse with a relevant record that is half a game better than PSU's. However, Syracuse's win over UCLA happens to be the only win of value they achieved. PSU defeated 9-2 North Carolina State and 7-4 Miami-Florida. And Syracuse performed very poorly on the season, edging losing teams Baylor 7-0, Maryland 7-3 (PSU beat them 38-3), California 20-14, and Pitt 14-7 (PSU beat them 42-6). Both teams were upset by Navy, but PSU lost to them by 1 and Syracuse by 13. All of that makes for a huge performance difference in Penn State's favor.

So Penn State should remain ahead of Syracuse, regardless of their bowl result. But Syracuse comes into our rankings right behind the Nittany Lions, putting them at #12.

Colorado and Minnesota

Syracuse had been #12 in the coaches' poll, Colorado #13, and Minnesota #14, so let's look at bringing 9-2 Colorado and 8-2 Minnesota into our expanded AP rankings next. Should Colorado be rated higher? They took an upset loss (to 4-5-1 Oklahoma State), as did Minnesota (to 6-4 Nebraska), but Minnesota defeated now-#9 Indiana 33-7, a much bigger win than any Colorado managed. However, Minnesota's performance was very weak, 4 close wins over losing teams compared to 2 for Colorado. Also, Minnesota's win over Indiana was their only win of value, while Colorado beat 7-3 Missouri, 6-4 Nebraska, and 7-4 Miami-Florida in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

The AP poll would have rated Colorado higher anyway, so Colorado comes in at #13, Minnesota #14.

North Carolina State and Florida State

The coaches rated 7-2-2 Florida State #15 and 9-2 North Carolina State #17, but that made no sense since NC State defeated FSU 20-10 on the road and had the better record to boot.

We'll put NC State in our expanded AP rankings at #15, Florida State at #16.


Now that we have all those teams in place, we can finally deal with where to rank 8-2-1 Alabama, whom the AP poll originally ranked #8. But then Alabama lost to 7-4 Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, which would have sent them plummeting down the rankings if the AP poll had voted after the bowls. Where they would have fallen to, I cannot say, but I can say that they logically belong ranked behind 7-2-2 Florida State. The two teams tied 37-37 in Alabama's home opener, and both teams took an upset loss. The difference is Florida State's Gator Bowl tie with now-#11 Penn State, which carries more emphasis because it was a bowl game. Speaking of which, Alabama's upset loss occurred in their bowl game, and to a team that Florida State happened to beat 19-18 on the road.

Drop Alabama behind Florida State, to #16, moving FSU up 1 spot, as well as all the teams that had been ranked between FSU and Alabama.

Wyoming, Miami-Florida, and Louisiana State

Now it's time to handle 10-1 Wyoming, whom the AP poll originally rated #6. But that was when Wyoming was 10-0, before they went to the Sugar Bowl and lost 20-13 to 7-3-1 Louisiana State. Needless to say, Wyoming played a relatively weak schedule, and there is no reason for them to be rated higher than LSU. LSU, in turn, lost 17-15 at home to 7-4 Miami-Florida (who was #16 in the coaches' poll).

So we'll bring Miami-Florida and Louisiana State in next, and drop Wyoming behind them both. That puts Miami at #16, LSU at #17, Wyoming drops to #18, and all the teams that had been ranked behind Wyoming move up 1 slot.

Texas A&M and Arizona State

We've got 18 teams now, so we need to find 7 more. Let's start with Texas A&M and Arizona State. 7-4 Texas A&M lost their first 4 games, then won their next 7, securing the SWC title, a Cotton Bowl bid, and a big 20-16 upset of now-#15 Alabama in said bowl game. But they were upset by 3-7 Southern Methodist, and they lost to Louisiana State worse than 10-1 Wyoming did, so we'll leave them ranked behind Wyoming. The AP poll would have done the same anyway.

8-2 Arizona State (#20 in coaches' poll) lost only to Oregon State and Wyoming, both rated, and they lost to both by less than a touchdown. They defeated most of the rest of their opponents by more than a touchdown, the one exception a 33-32 win over 7-2-1 Texas-El Paso, who will also end up rated (as covered next).

Texas A&M comes in at #19, Arizona State at #20.

Texas-El Paso, Mississippi, Houston, and Georgia

The coaches rated Georgia #18 and Houston #19, but then Georgia lost their bowl game, and earlier in the season they had lost to Houston and probably should not have been rated ahead of them in the first place. A bigger problem with those ratings, though, is the fact that both Georgia and Houston lost to Mississippi, who should have been rated ahead of both. Mississippi, in turn, lost to Texas-El Paso, all of which gives us the following victory chain: UTEP > Mississippi > Houston > Georgia.

8-2-1 UTEP lost by 2 points to now-#18 Wyoming and by 1 point to now-#20 Arizona State, so they were obviously very close in quality to those teams. They took an upset tie with 3-6-1 Arizona, but stomped on the rest of their regular season foes by huge scores, and then they defeated Ole Miss 14-7 in the Sun Bowl.

6-4-1 Mississippi opened their season with a 27-17 upset loss at 6-3 Memphis 27-17, but their other losses came to rated teams and to UTEP, and they tied now-#17 LSU. They beat Georgia 29-20 and Houston 14-13.

7-3 Houston won big over now-#14 Florida State, 33-13, in their opener, but they were upset at 7-3 Tulsa 22-13 in their final game. They beat Georgia 15-14.

7-4 Georgia defeated 6-4 Auburn 17-0, who beat 6-4 Florida 26-21, who beat Georgia 17-16, so those 3 teams make a circle. But since Georgia's was the most impressive win of those 3 games, and their loss was the closest loss, we'll rate Georgia ahead of the other 2, as the coaches did. They also played well in their bowl game against now-#13 North Carolina State, losing 14-7, but outgaining and outplaying the Wolfpack in every regard but scoring.

UTEP comes in at #21, Mississippi at #22, Houston at #23, and Georgia at #24. One last spot to fill.

Auburn and Florida

As stated, Georgia, Auburn, and Florida defeated each other in a circle. And since we put Georgia on top of the other 2, Auburn gets the nod for the next slot since they beat Florida 26-21 head-to-head. That leaves Florida outside the top 25 at #26. Auburn also beat 6-4 Clemson 43-21, and Clemson is nearly rated as well.

6-3 Memphis would be #27. They defeated now-#22 Mississippi, but then took an upset loss to Utah State, so their relevant record was effectively a game worse than Florida's, as Florida defeated now-#24 Georgia and took no upset losses.

Fixed and Expanded AP Top 25

It's a lot more work now that I have to add a full 15 teams, and account for December and bowl game results, on top of the usual fixing of AP voter ranking blunders, but here it is, a top 25 for 1967. The WAC had a great year, placing 3 teams on the list, and the state of Indiana had an even better year, placing 3 teams in the top 10.

1) Southern Cal 10-1 --
2) Oklahoma 10-1 +1
3) Tennessee 9-2 -1
4) UCLA 7-2-1 IN
5) Oregon State 7-2-1 +2
6) Purdue 8-2 +3
7) Notre Dame 8-2 -2
8) Indiana 9-2 -4
9) Penn State 8-2-1 +1
10) Syracuse 8-2 IN
11) Colorado 9-2 IN
12) Minnesota 8-2 IN
13) North Carolina State 9-2 IN
14) Florida State 7-2-2 IN
15) Alabama 8-2-1 -7
16) Miami (Florida) 7-4 IN
17) Louisiana State 7-3-1 IN
18) Wyoming 10-1 -12
19) Texas A&M 7-4 IN
20) Arizona State 8-2 IN
21) Texas El Paso 7-2-1 IN
22) Mississippi 6-4-1 IN
23) Houston 7-3 IN
24) Georgia 7-4 IN
25) Auburn 6-4 IN