Polls & Rankings

AP All-Time College Football Rankings: Best Teams 1936 To 1939

Oct 10, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; A general view of the Hesburgh Library and Word of Life Mural, commonly known as Touchdown Jesus, before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 10, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; A general view of the Hesburgh Library and Word of Life Mural, commonly known as Touchdown Jesus, before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


The AP poll is has been the most consistent ranking system over the long history of college football. Going by the final rankings, what programs come out best? Here are the top programs of the 1930s according to a CFN formula using all the AP’s final polls.


 Follow … @ColFootballNews

Top Teams Of The … 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

The AP rankings began in 1936, and they’ve been a constant ever since.

So, according to the final AP rankings, which college football programs are the greatest? Which ones were the best over the second half of the 1930s?

Here’s the drill. Taking all the AP final rankings, CFN devised a scoring system giving every AP national champion 25 points, the No. 2 team 24, No. 3 23, and so on down to the bottom – currently No. 25, but there was a top ten for a bit and later a top 20.

Interestingly enough, Notre Dame didn’t win a national title over the four years the AP ranked teams in the 1930s, but it managed to come out on top.

1930s AP National Champions
1936 Minnesota
1937 Pittsburgh
1938 TCU
1939 Texas A&M

1930s AP Rankings Greatest Teams

These rankings are created according to the CFN scoring system – this isn’t the official AP ranking of its all-time greatest teams.

1  Notre Dame 69
2  Pittsburgh 66
T3  Duke 62
T3  Minnesota 62
T5  Alabama 57
T5  Tennessee 57
7  Fordham 54
8  Santa Clara 49
9  Texas Christian 45
T10  Louisiana State 42
T10  USC 42
12  Nebraska 40
13  Holy Cross 29
T14  Duquesne 28
T14  Northwestern 28
T14  Villanova 28
T14  Yale 28
18  Texas A&M 25
19  Ohio State 24
20  Cornell 22
T21  Tulane 21
T21  Washington 21
T23  Arkansas 20
T23  Carnegie Tech 20
T23  Missouri 20
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES
 Dartmouth 19
 UCLA 19
 Iowa 17
 Michigan 16
 Pennsylvania 16
 Boston College 15
 Texas Tech 15
 Clemson 14
 California 12
 Georgia Tech 10
 Colorado 9
 Navy 8
 Rice 8
 North Carolina 7
 Oklahoma 7
 Marquette 6
Dartmouth 6