Polls & Rankings

AP All-Time College Football Rankings: Best Teams 1940 To 1949

Oct 10, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines players take the field prior to the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 10, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines players take the field prior to the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-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 1940s according to a CFN formula using all the AP’s final polls.


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Top Teams Of The … 1930s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

According to the final AP college football rankings, which programs were the best of the 1940s?

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.

It was the decade of Notre Dame with four AP national championships and three of the last four of the 1940s, and Minnesota and Army each won back-to-back titles, but it was Michigan that took the top spot because of its consistent greatness – and the 1948 national title.

1940 AP National Champions
1940 Minnesota
1941 Minnesota
1942 Ohio State
1943 Notre Dame
1944 Army
1945 Army
1946 Notre Dame
1947 Notre Dame
1948 Michigan
1949 Notre Dame

1940s 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.

Rank Teams Points
1 Michigan 210
2 Notre Dame 201
3 Army 146
4 Texas 107
5 Tennessee 103
6 Ohio State 96
7 Duke 86
8 Georgia 85
9 Navy 83
10 Penn 79
11 Minnesota 78
12 Georgia Tech 77.5
13 Northwestern 70
T14 North Carolina 67
T14 Oklahoma 67
15 Alabama 66
16 California 56
17 USC 52
18 Tulsa 51
19 SMU 49
20 LSU 46
T21 Rice 45
T21 Iowa Pre-Flight 45
23 Boston College 39
24 Stanford 38
25 Mississippi 37.3
others receiving votes
Santa Clara 37
Texas A&M 37
Mississippi State 35
UCLA 35
Penn State 34.3
Fordham 34
Wm & Mary 33
Cornell 32
Illinois 32
Great Lakes 30
Bainbridge NTS 30
Washington 30
Indiana 28
Missouri 24.5
Pacific 23
Wisconsin 23
Randolph Field 23
Oklahoma State 21
Purdue 21
Michigan State 19
Duquesne 18
Nebraska 18
Del Monte PF 18
NC State 17
Oregon 17
Washington State 16
Clemson 15
Kentucky 15
Wake Forest 15
Holy Cross 14.3
Kansas 14
Oregon State 14
Saint Mary’s (Cal.) 14
Vanderbilt 14
Yale 14
Georgetown 13
Tulane 13
Villanova 13
Norman Pre-Flight 12.5
Coumbia 12
Maryland 12
Arkansas 10
Auburn 10
Dartmouth 10
El Toro Marines 10
Hardin-Simmons 9
Princeton 8
Fort Pierce 8
Colorado College 8
Delaware 7
Lafayette 7
2nd Air Force 6
Baylor 5.5
Saint Mary’s PF 2