Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this short survey: Football Poll Features
Associated Press Poll (1936-Present)
Total, Preseason, Final Polls | Weekly, Season Streaks | Last
National Championships (by team, conference, and coach)
AP #1 Game Results
#1 Weekly Progression
Preseason vs Final Rankings of #1 Teams
Wire-to-Wire at #1
AP Polls With Unanimous #1
AP Polls with ties at #1:
August 26, 2002
October 20, 1992
October 27, 1941
November 27, 1939
Percent of First Place Votes for the AP Preseason #1 Team
AP Preseason #1 that Finished #1 with Fewest Regular-Season Weeks at #1:
1985 Oklahoma (1)
1978 Alabama (2)
1975 Oklahoma (4)
1974 Oklahoma (5)
1951 Tennessee (5)
AP National Champions with only One Appearance at #1 During the Season:
2014 Ohio State
2002 Ohio State
1989 Miami (FL)
1987 Miami (FL)
1986 Penn State
1983 Miami (FL)
1982 Penn State
1977 Notre Dame
1973 Notre Dame
1946 Notre Dame
AP Preseason #1 with only One Appearance at #1 During the Season:
1971 Notre Dame
AP National Champion that lost/tied their first game:
1983 Miami (FL)
AP National Champion that lost their last game:
1943 Notre Dame
AP #1 wins but drops to #2
Most Points Allowed in One Game By an AP National Champion
AP Polls Where #1 Had Less Than 30 First Place Votes
Biggest Jumps to AP Number 1
Lowest Rank by Month for AP National Champions
Total Points in the AP Poll
Biggest Jumps From Unranked to Ranked in the AP Poll
Biggest Jumps into the AP Top 5
Biggest Drops Within the AP Poll
Biggest Jumps Within the AP Poll
Teams Outside AP Top 10 Receiving First Place Votes
Most Teams Receiving First Place Votes in One AP Poll
Conferences with Multiple Teams in Preseason AP Top 5
AP Poll vs Harris Poll (preseason poll argument)
January 7, 1948 Special Poll (Michigan/Notre Dame controversy)
1935 Final United Press Sportswriters Poll
November 15, 1934 Poll
Dates of Preseason/First Polls 1998-Present
Milestone AP Polls
AP Voting Guidelines
FBS Consecutive Games Scored Streaks
Sources for this data are Collegio Football 2008 (1998-2008), PollSpeak.com (2009-13; names only), and The Associated Press (2014). Some minor inconsistencies were found when compiling this data, but few corrections have been made so far. Some assumptions were made for voters that participated in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Modern Era of the AP Poll
Based on four factors -- preseason poll, number of voters, number of teams ranked, and final poll coming after bowl games -- 1968 could be considered the start of the 'modern' era of the AP Poll.
The first preseason poll was in 1950. Although its usefulness or accuracy is often questioned, it does allow for a more complete view of a team's rise or fall during a given season.
Prior to 1960, voting was open to any TV, radio, or newspaper sports editor. The average number of voters per poll was 158 and varied greatly with as many as 409 for one poll in 1954. Panel voting began in 1960, where a set number of football experts from around the country were selected before each season.
From 1936 to 1960, there were 20 teams ranked in the poll. That changed from 1961 to 1967 where all but one poll had just 10 teams. This affected the ability to appear in the poll and continue appearance streaks compared to previous seasons. In 1968 the poll went back to 20 teams, and then to 25 in 1989.
And finally, 1968 is when releasing the final poll after the bowl games became permanent (the first and only other instance was in 1965). In previous seasons the final poll came at the end of the regular season, nullifying any effect postseason games between highly-ranked teams could have had. This actually helped preserve the National Championship for five teams who lost their bowl game.
Considering these factors, the years since 1968 have been the most complete and consistent for the AP Poll since its inception.
Research from Others
If you have some research that you would like to publish here, or know of some located elsewhere on the internet, please contact me.
Most High Profile Match-Ups In a Single Series, Jeff Bovee, CFB Trivia, August 2015.
The Huskers’ History in the AP Poll, Brandon Vogel, HailVarsity.com, August 2015.
Voter Bias in the Associated Press College Football Poll, Jay Coleman, Andres Gallo, Paul Mason, Jeffrey W. Steagall, University of North Florida, August 2010.
20-Year AP Top 25 Trends, Brian Fremeau, BCF Toys, March 2010.
Connectivity in College Football: 1989 vs. 2009, Brian Fremeau, BCF Toys, March 2010.
Ranking high: scientific proof that preseason polls matter, Scott Albrecht, College Football by the Numbers, August 2009.
Rectifying a Stupid Conclusion - Preseason Polls, Scott Albrecht, College Football by the Numbers, August 2008.
Games Where #1 Was Shutout, Doug Tammaro, August 2008. - See AP #1 Game Results
Testing Bayesian Updating with the AP Top 25 (312 KB PDF), Daniel F.Stone, July 10, 2008. (check here for updates)
Whoa, Nellie! Empirical Tests of College Football's Conventional
Wisdom (abstract only), Trevon D. Logan, November 2007.
Success of Current Division-I College Football Teams Since Inception of Polls in 1936 (94 KB PDF), Lemieux, September 2007.
Evidence of Television Exposure Effects in AP Top 25 College Football Rankings (abstract only), Noel D. Campbell, Tammy M. Rogers, R. Zachary Finney.
College Football Playoff Rankings (2014-Present)
BCS Rankings (1998-2013)
Total Appearances | National Championships
UPDATE All BCS rankings have been added to the AP poll pages with the exception of a small percentage (3%) of teams ranked from #19 to #25 in the BCS that only appeared in the Others Receiving Votes section in the AP Poll. These BCS rankings will not display in the AP team week-by-week view, but are counted in the BCS total appearances.