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 2012 AP College Football PollHere
it is, the final 2012 AP poll, cleansed of logical errors. The biggest
problem with this season's final top 25 is the inclusion of a pack of
mid majors: Utah State, Boise
State, San Jose State, and Northern Illinois. Back in the 1990s, the AP
poll was not so keen on rating these kinds of teams, as I demonstrate
in the linked article. But nowadays, the AP poll automatically ranks
any team with 2 or fewer losses, regardless of schedule strength. They
shouldn't. Hey, I love Cinderellas as much as the next person, but they
need to earn their trip to the ball.
The Big 10 fares very well in this fixed poll, a rarity in recent years: Fixing the Final 2012 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 1936-2011, 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 #119? 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
you know what I've been doing for the last month-- compiling college
football data into 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 1937, 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
The 1938 College Football National ChampionshipWell,
it's been about 6 months since my last historical article, but here it
is, finally. I've been quite busy, but hopefully I can get out at least
an article a month going forward.
Anyway, if you've read my article on fixing the 1938 AP Poll,
then you already know that 11-0 Tennessee and 11-0 Texas Christian
share the mythical national championship (MNC) for 1938. The consensus
choice among human selectors is TCU.
However, if you choose just one champion for 1938, that team should actually be Tennessee: 1938 National Championship
1933 College Football Top 25Here
is my hypothetical post-bowl AP poll top 25 for 1933, fixed for logical
errors of course. This was a huge year for West Coast teams and for
Catholic schools, and 2 teams fit both categories in making this top 25.
Trivia question: which 2 teams/schools are those? The answer awaits here: 1933 Top 25
The 1939 College Football National Championship11-0
Texas A&M finished atop the 1939 AP poll to claim their last
mythical national championship (MNC), but there are other claimants to
the crown. 8-0-2 Southern Cal claimed an MNC for 1939 65 years later,
no doubt hoping that no one remembered the details of a season so long
gone. 8-0 Cornell also claims an MNC for 1939, but their claim is more
legitimate, as you can tell from their record. This is the last season
for which a team now in the Ivy League claims an MNC.
Will the Aggies be sharing the throne for 1939?: 1939 National Championship
NEW! -- 1932 College Football Top 25This
was a big season for the Big 10, which places 6 teams in the top 14.
The East did not have a good year, but it was still the deepest region
in terms of the number of major football teams, so 7 Eastern squads
still make this top 25.
This article features mini-profiles of Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Washington State: 1932 Top 25
NEW! -- The 1940 College Football National Championship1940
presents us with 3 powerful and historically significant teams. 8-0
Minnesota finished #1 in the AP poll, and this was their 4th MNC in 7
years. A 5th in 8 years awaited them in 1941. 10-0 Stanford
revolutionized football with its use of the T formation, giving
birth to modern football offenses. 11-0 Boston College, the least known
of these teams today, was coached by the legendary Frank Leahy, and the
team featured 5 Hall of Fame players-- only Notre Dame's 1924 team has fielded more through 1940.
More than one team shares this mythical crown: 1940 National Championship
NEW! -- 1931 College Football Top 25An
unprecedented 3 Southern teams make this top 5. The West Coast was the
top region this year, but only 4 Pacific teams make this top 25. The
East did not have a good year, but 9 Eastern teams make this list.
That's largely because the East had far more major teams than the West Coast had.
This article features mini-profiles of Harvard and Army: 1931 Top 25
NEW! -- The 1941 College Football National ChampionshipMinnesota
finished 8-0 in 1941, taking home their 5th MNC in 8 years, but it was
the end of their long, 4-decade ride as one of the top programs in
college football. This is the only one of the 5 MNCs that Minnesota
isn't sharing with another team, and in fact there is not even another contender to their crown in 1941-- the first time that had happened since Notre Dame's 1924
team. Alabama actually claims an MNC for 1941, but they were 8-1-1,
ranked #20 in the AP poll, and they finished 5th in the SEC. Not even a
No other contenders makes for a much shorter article, a nice break for me: 1941 National Championship