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
NEW! -- 2015 TipTop 25 Week FourDo
you think that preseason college football ratings are silly because no
one really knows how good the teams are yet? Well, have I got a top 25
for you! For my preseason top 25, I literally picked teams out of a
hat. The first team I picked out, as pictured, was Duke... so Duke was
our #1 team to start the season, but they lost to Northwestern in week
3, and currently they are ranked behind the 4-0 Wildcats at #7.
See where everyone else is ranked here: TipTop 25
Fixing the Final AP College Football Poll for the 2014 SeasonHere
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
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 1936-2014, 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
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 1953, 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
1915 College Football Top 251915 was a very unusual year for this time period, the East taking only 9
slots of this top 25, and 8 different regions being represented. The
Pacific Northwest puts an unprecedented 4 teams on this list thanks to
some big intersectional wins, one of them in the first Tournament of
Roses game since 1902.
Of course, we've still got an Eastern team at #1: 1915 Top 25
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.
The 1955 College Football National ChampionshipThis
one was nice and easy for me, because 11-0 Oklahoma, who defeated 10-1
Maryland 20-6 in the Orange Bowl, is a unanimous selection for the 1955
mythical national championship, and there are no other contenders for
See how they did it here: 1955 National Championship
NEW! -- 1914 College Football Top 25
East takes 14 slots in this one, the Great Lakes region (Big 10) gets
7, and that doesn't leave much room for the rest of the country. Get
used to that as we move backward in time.
The East and Great Lakes regions share the most important slot here: 1914 Top 25
NEW! -- The 1956 College Football National Championship10-0
Oklahoma posted their 3rd straight perfect season and outscored their
opponents by an average of 47-5 to sweep all the major polls in 1956,
but their schedule featured just 1 rated opponent, #22 Colorado, and
every other team they played had a losing record! 9-1 Iowa, meanwhile,
faced 5 opponents that finished in the top 17, and they are a contender
for this season's crown.
Who should wear it?: 1956 National Championship
NEW! -- 1913 College Football Top 25In
games between major teams, the "West" went a big 5-0 against the East
this year, and so "Western" teams take up most of this season's top 10
The East still takes #1 though: 1913 Top 25
NEW! -- The 1957 College Football National Championship10-0
Auburn won the AP poll to claim their first mythical national
championship. But despite taking a loss, 9-1 Ohio State won the
coaches' poll and 2 sportswriter polls from the time. Fair or foul? I
go into great detail on this one, and I also look at the case for 8-1
Michigan State, who had pretty much the same season Ohio State had.
Who shall sit upon the throne?: 1957 National Championship
NEW! -- The 1958 College Football National ChampionshipFor
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