The AP Top 25 Poll is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks college football's best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The rankings are set by listing the teams' point totals from highest to lowest. The mathematical formula is the same as the one used for the AP Pro 32 rankings and the AP Top 25 rankings for men's and women's basketball.
History of the Poll
The Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, and it is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the season. The preseason poll was started in 1950. A panel of 61 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly. All of the voters have an extensive background in covering college football. Alabama's ten AP national titles lead the way, with Notre Dame sitting second with eight. Oklahoma has seven, while Miami and Southern California have five each. Each team's ranking will be mentioned in AP stories throughout the preseason and the regular season, along with a link to the Top 25: collegefootball.ap.org/poll