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A website devoted to properly ranking
major college football teams
past to present

National Champions

Fixed AP Polls

Annual Top 25 1901-1935

About Me


Baby placing blocksHow to Rate College Football Teams

Whether 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

NEW! -- Comments on AP Poll 11-29-2015

I will not be fixing the AP poll top 25 until the final one is released in January, but it is the time of the season for me to start commenting on the weekly AP poll. Here I look at bad, illogical ratings that would need to be fixed if the season were over now.

And this AP poll top 25 has a lot of errors in it:   AP Poll 11-29-15

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott scoring a touchdown against Oregon in the national championship game for the 2014 seasonFixing the Final AP College Football Poll for the 2014 Season

Here it is, the final 2014 AP poll, cleansed of logical errors! As is typical, the voters did a much better job ranking the top half than they did ranking the bottom half, and in fact I did not have to change anything in the top 11. Nice job there, sportswriters! Unfortunately, a whole lot of head-to-head results were ignored in the bottom half of the poll.

The voters also had their typical trouble with properly accounting for strength of schedule:  Fixing the Final 2014 AP Poll

I 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.

Sooner Schooner defaced with Michigan logo, then that defaced with "tOSU."The Greatest College Football Programs of the AP Poll Era

Now that I have fixed all the AP polls 1936-2014, 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 #5.

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

Harvard-Yale football game 1901The 1901 College Football National Championship

Who 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 for 1901.

Take a look at my analysis and I think you'll agree:  1901 National Championship

I have also written articles summarizing the mythical national championship race for each season 1902 through 1957, 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.

Northwestern's touchdown to beat Minnesota 6-0 in 1936Fixing the Final 1936 AP College Football Poll

Here 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 following Spring.

Who should have been the first #1?:  Fixing the Final 1936 AP Poll

1912 Harvard's Charles Brickley kicks field goal to beat Dartmouth 3-01912 College Football Top 25

The East hogs up all but 2 spots in the top 15 of this one. But the rest of the country fills up most of the remaining slots.

We've got a lot of surprise "small college" teams this year
:  1912 Top 25

I 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. New ones will also be posted below as they are finished.

LSU's 1958 "Chinese Bandits"The 1958 College Football National Championship

For the 3rd straight season, this MNC boils down to a team with a perfect record and a 1-loss Big 10 team that played a tougher schedule. But this time, the Big 10 team, Iowa, took a loss and a tie.

Does 8-1-1 Iowa have a case vs. 11-0 LSU?:  1958 National Championship

1911 Carlisle football team1911 College Football Top 25

We've got 7 teams in this top 25 that are not from the East or the Great Lakes (Big 10) regions, an unusually large number.

This is the first year a "Western" team takes #1
:  1911 Top 25

1959 Syracuse football team in actionThe 1959 College Football National Championship

This one was easy for me, because 11-0 Syracuse is a unanimous choice as mythical national champion for 1959, and there are no other contenders.

Here's the story of Syracuse's only MNC in football:  1959 National Championship

Harvard football practice 19101910 College Football Top 25

We've got a lot of unusual appearances in or near the top 25 for 1910, such as Ursinus, Colorado College, Trinity (Connecticut), Case, Marquette, Oberlin, and Wabash.

I include twice the usual number of mini-profiles of teams in this one
:  1910 Top 25

1961 Rose Bowl, Washington vs. MinnesotaThe 1960 College Football National Championship

For the 4th time in history, the AP poll's #1 team lost its bowl game. This time it was 8-2 Minnesota losing 17-7 to 10-1 Washington. So Washington is a contender for the 1960 mythical national championship, but so are 10-0-1 Mississippi, 8-1 Iowa, and 10-1 Missouri.

That's a lot of contenders for me to summarize this time:  1960 National Championship

1909 Yale-Princeton football game1909 College Football Top 25

Once again we've got some unusual appearances in or near the top 25, this time including such teams as Sewanee, Villanova, and Drake. There are also 5 teams from the South ranked in this top 25, an unusually high number for this time period.

And again I include a lot more mini-profiles of teams than usual in this one
:  1909 Top 25

MS Paint rendering of the 1962 Sugar BowlNEW! -- The 1961 College Football National Championship

For the 3rd time in 5 seasons (1957-1961), the Football Writers Association selected a Big 10 team with a loss or tie as mythical national champion over an SEC team with a perfect record.

Who's right, the FWAA or everyone else on the planet?:  1961 National Championship

Harvard game winning field goal against Yale in 1908NEW! -- 1908 College Football Top 25

The East hoards 15 spots, and the Big 10 region takes most of the rest. Unusual teams rated in this top 25 include Denver and Western Reserve.

Check out the whole top 25 here
:  1908 Top 25

Contact the writer at this e-mail address:   James@TipTop25.com