Civitas (Wilmington News Journal)

The Top 100

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The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college football since 1936. Over 82 years and 1,135 polls, a total of 166 schools have been ranked and 44 of them have been ranked No. 1 (Minnesota was the first).

To determine the all-time Top 25, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (two points) to acknowledge elite programs and gave a bonus for AP championships (10 points).

2017 RECAP

By appearing in all of the season’s polls and winning the National Championship, Alabama jumped past Notre Dame and Oklahoma to take the No. 2 spot in the all-time poll. Other changes in the All-Time AP Top 100 from the 2017 season included:

 Michigan moved up one spot to No. 6, knocking Nebraska down to No. 7 after the Huskers failed to appear in a single poll.

 Washington jumped past Michigan State and Texas A&M to take the No. 18 spot after the Spartans struggled later in the year and the Aggies failed to appear in a single poll.

 Clemson’s two No. 1s and appearances in all polls helped the Tigers climb from No. 21 to a tie with Texas A&M for No. 19, also passing Michigan State.

 Wisconsin moved up to No. 23, knocking down Pittsburgh to No. 24.

 Virginia Tech moved up to tie Mississippi at No. 28.

 Stanford passed Pac-12 rival Arizona State to take the No. 30 spot.

 TCU jumped from No. 39 to No. 36, passing North Carolina, Purdue and Minnesota.

 Syracuse moved up to No. 40, dropping Maryland to No. 41.

 Washington State jumped from No. 61 to No. 57, passing Boston College, Texas Tech, Boise State and Louisville.

 Fresno State moved up one spot into a tie at No. 71 with Wyoming.

 USF jumped from No. 91 to No. 77 thanks to its program-record 15 poll appearances during the season. The Bulls leapfrogged Santa Clara, Tulsa, Colorado State, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio), Fordham, Iowa State, Holy Cross, Rutgers, Dartmouth, East Carolina, Vanderbilt, Yale, Princeton and Marshall.

 Iowa State moved up from No. 83 to a four-way tie at No. 78 with Santa Clara, Tulsa and Colorado State.

 UCF jumped into the Top 100 at No. 97, thanks to its 11 poll appearances, which in one season doubled the program’s all-time total.

1  OHIO STATE (1,144 Points)

884, 77.89% of all polls
1936
105
Five (last 2014)
1970s appeared in 92.57% of polls.
1940s appeared in 55.68% of polls.
There have only been three seasons during the 80-year history of the AP poll in which the Buckeyes were not ranked at least once, the fewest poll-less seasons of any program.

2  ALABAMA (1,093 Points)

777, 68.46% of all polls
1936
103
11 (last 2017)
1970s appeared in 91.22% of polls.
1950s appeared in 18.97% of polls.
From Nov. 3, 1980-Oct. 26, 2008, Alabama was only ranked No. 1 once _ the final poll of the 1992 season. The Tide has been top-ranked 72 times under coach Nick Saban and hasn’t missed appearing in a single poll since 2007, which was Saban’s first season

3  OKLAHOMA (1,086 Points)

784, 71.81% of all polls
1938
100 1/2
Seven (last 2000)
1950s appeared in 94.83% of polls.
1960s appeared in 28.57% of polls.
Oklahoma has been top-five in percentage of poll appearances in five decades (1950s, '70s, '80s, 2000, '10), most of any program.

4  NOTRE DAME (1058 Points)

782, 68.9% of all polls
1936
98
Eight (last 1988)
1940s appeared in 96.59% of polls.
2000s appeared in 45.18% of polls.
Notre Dame was ranked at least once every season from the first poll in 1936 through 1961.

5  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (996 Points)

765, 67.4% of all polls
1936
90 1/2
Five (last 2004)
1970s appeared in 89.86% of polls.
1940s appeared in 47.43% of polls.
The Trojans were top-ranked 42 times from Dec. 7, 2003-Sept. 21, 2008 under coach Pete Carroll.

6  MICHIGAN (920 Points)

832, 73.3% of all polls
1938
34
Two (last 1997)
1970s appeared in 100% of polls.
1960s appeared in 26.98% of polls.
The Wolverines were first team to appear in every poll over the course of a full decade, when they did it in the 1970s under coach Bo Schembechler.

7  NEBRASKA (913 Points)

729, 64.23% of all polls
1936
72
Four (last 1995)
1990s appeared in 100% of polls.
1950s appeared in 5.17% of polls.
Mostly under coach Tom Osborne, the Cornhuskers were unranked in only three polls combined during the 1970s, '80s and '90s _ appearing in 99.35 percent over three decades. They weren't ranked at all in 2017.

8  TEXAS (827 Points)

708, 62.83% of all polls
1940
44 1/2
Three (last 2005)
2000s appeared in 99.40% of polls.
1990s appeared in 47.34% of polls.
The Longhorns have not had a Top-10 rankings since Sept. 19, 2010, the program's longest such streak since Nov. 26, 1984-Nov. 4, 1990.

9  FLORIDA STATE (734 Points)

560, 49.34% of all polls
1964
72
Three (last 2013)
1990s appeared in 100% of polls.
1950s no poll appearances.(Florida State started football program in 1947).
From Nov. 11, 1990-Sept. 9, 2001, the Seminoles were never ranked lower than 11th under coach Bobby Bowden.

10  FLORIDA (695 Points)

583, 51.37% of all polls
1950
41
Three (last 2008)
1990s appeared in 98.82% of polls.
1940s no poll appearances.
The Gators had no top-three appearances before Nov. 26, 1984 and then 95 top-three appearances after.

11  LSU (681 Points)

601, 52.95% of all polls
1936
30
Two (last 2007)
2000s appeared in 82.53% of polls.
1950s appeared in 25.86% of polls.
After being unranked for most of the 1950s, the Tigers held the No. 1 ranking 14 times in 1958 and '59 _ then went 48 years before being ranked No. 1 again (2007).

12  PENN STATE (671 Points)

613, 54% of all polls
1940
19
Two (last 1986)
1990s appeared in 95.27% of polls.
1950s appeared in 20.69% of polls.
The Nittany Lions were not ranked at any point from 2011 to 2015. Since making their poll debut in 1940, Penn State had never gone more than three seasons without being ranked at least once. However, Penn State has clawed back, appearing in all 16 polls in 2017.

13  MIAMI (665 Points)

481, 42.38% of all polls
1950
67
Five (last 2001)
1990s appeared in 81.66% of polls.
1940s no poll appearances. (First poll appearance was 1950)
The Hurricanes made 367 of their poll appearances (80.13 percent) between Sept. 29, 1980-Jan. 4, 2006.

14  TENNESSEE (638 Points)

582, 51.28% of all polls
1936
18
Two (last 1998)
1990s appeared in 93.49% of polls.
1980s appeared in 29.19% of polls.
From 1936-59, no Southeastern Conference team had more poll appearances (134) than the Volunteers.

15  AUBURN (596 Points)

558, 49.16% of all polls
1936
Nine
Two (last 2010)
1980s appeared in 75.78% of polls.
1940s appeared in 2.27% of polls.
For years, the Deep South’s oldest rivals, Auburn and Georgia, have either tied or have held the closest margin between each other among the highest ranked teams in the AP All-Time Top 100. It will be interesting to see if their positions change again after the 2018 season.

16  GEORGIA (593 Points)

553, 48.72% of all polls
1941
15
One (1980)
2000s appeared in 85.54% of polls.
1950s appeared in 11.21% of polls.
Since 1975, the Bulldogs have had only two seasons (1990 and '96) during which they have not been ranked for at least one week.

17  UCLA (537 Points)

523, 46.08% of all polls
1939
7
None
1980s appeared in 72.67% of polls.
1940s appeared in 29.55% of polls.
Highest ranked team to never win a championship.

18  WASHINGTON (462 Points)

433, 38.15% of all polls
1936
14 1/2
None
1990s appeared in 75.74% of polls.
1960s appeared in 16.67% of polls.
The Huskies haven’t missed a poll the past two seasons, but in the 11 of 12 seasons before that they were either not ranked or only appeared once during a season. 

19  CLEMSON (459 Points)

419, 36.92% of all polls
1939
10
One (1981)
1980s appeared in 58.39% of polls.
1960s appeared in 3.97% of polls.
before the Tigers' first national championship season in 1981, their best ranking was No.5 on Sept.21, 1959.

20  TEXAS A&M (459 Points)

436, 38.41% of all polls
1936
6 1/2
One (1939)
1990s appeared in 83.43% of polls.
1960s appeared in 2.38% of polls.
The Aggies were last No. 1 in Nov. 11, 1957, and have not been No. 2 since Dec. 1, 1975. They weren’t ranked at all in 2017.

21  MICHIGAN STATE (458 Points)

390, 34.36% of all polls
1948
29
One (1952)
1960s appeared in 74.14% of polls.
1980s appeared in 16.15% of polls.
Has the most No. 1 rankings for a program not ranked No. 1 since the 1960s.

22  ARKANSAS (418 Points)

416, 36.65% of all polls
1936
One
None
1970s appeared in 66.22% of polls.
1940s appeared in 7.95% of polls.
The Razorbacks have 30 top-three appearances, but only one (Nov. 20, 2011) since 1978.

23  WISCONSIN (367 Points)

365, 32.16% of all polls
1937
One
None
1950s appeared in 63.69% of polls
1980s appeared in 1.86% of polls.
During a 29-year span from 1964-92, the Badgers had just 10 poll appearances. Since '92, Wisconsin has made 246 poll appearances.

24  PITTSBURGH (358 Points)

294, 26.08% of all polls
1936
21
Two (last 1976)
1980s appeared in 50.93% of polls.
1940s appeared in 3.41% of polls.
The Panthers have not had a top-five appearance during the regular season since Dec. 6, 1982.

25  IOWA (335 Points)

313, 27.58% of all polls
1939
7
None
1980s appeared in 46.58% of polls.
1970s no poll appearances.
The Hawkeyes worst decade ('70s) was followed by their best after Hayden Fry took over as coach in 1979.

 

TOP 100 TEAMS

Rank Team name Points
26 Colorado 325
27 Georgia Tech 320
28 Mississippi 299
28 Virginia Tech 299
30 Oregon 297
31 Stanford 293
32 West Virginia 289
33 Arizona State 284
34 BYU 258
35 Missouri 256
36 TCU 252
37 Purdue 246
37 North Carolina 246
39 Minnesota 241
40 Syracuse 232
41 Maryland 230
42 Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M) 222
43 Army 214
44 Kansas State 210
45 California 205
46 Mississippi State 204
47 Baylor 198
48 Houston 193
49 South Carolina 191
50 Northwestern 187
51 Illinois 181
52 Virginia 174
53 Duke 172
54 Arizona 169
55 SMU 165
56 N.C. State 156
57 Washington State 148
58 Boston College 141
58 Louisville 141
60 Texas Tech 140
61 Boise State 139
62 Navy 133
63 Utah 114
64 Kansas 112
65 Oregon State 95
66 Penn 89
67 Air Force 78
68 Kentucky 75
69 Rice 70
70 Tulane 62
71 Wyoming 56
71 Fresno State 56
73 Indiana 55
73 Southern Mississippi 55
73 Cornell 55
76 Toledo 45
77 USF 44
78 Santa Clara 43
78 Tulsa 43
78 Colorado State 43
78 Iowa State 43
82 Wake Forest 42
82 Cincinnati 42
84 Miami (Ohio) 41
84 Fordham 41
86 Holy Cross 39
87 Rutgers 38
88 Dartmouth 37
89 East Carolina 34
90 Vanderbilt 31
91 Yale 30
92 Princeton 29
92 Marshall 29
94 Hawaii 28
95 Villanova 25
96 Northern Illinois 23
97 San Diego State 22
97 UCF 22
99 Duquesne 20
99 Iowa Pre-Flight 20