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! -- Comments on AP Poll 11-29-2015I
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
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 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.
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
1912 College Football Top 25The 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
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.
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
1911 College Football Top 25We'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
The 1959 College Football National ChampionshipThis one was easy for me, because 11-0 Syracuse is a unanimous
choice as mythical national champion for 1959, and there are no other
Here's the story of Syracuse's only MNC in football: 1959 National Championship
1910 College Football Top 25We'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
The 1960 College Football National ChampionshipFor
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 College Football Top 25Once
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
And again I include a lot more mini-profiles of teams than usual in this one: 1909 Top 25
NEW! -- The 1961 College Football National ChampionshipFor
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
NEW! -- 1908 College Football Top 25The
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