Polls & Rankings

AP All-Time College Football Rankings: Best Teams 1970 To 1979

Barry Switzer


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 1970s according to a CFN formula using all the AP’s final polls.


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Top Teams Of The … 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

Who were the best college football teams of the 1970s? Using 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.

Nebraska was the star to kickoff the decade with two national titles, and Alabama closed it with back-to-back championships, but Oklahoma also won two straight AP titles to be the program of the 1970s. Notre Dame also won two AP championships, but managed to finish seventh.

1970 AP National Champions
1970 Nebraska
1971 Nebraska
1972 USC
1973 Notre Dame
1974 Oklahoma
1975 Oklahoma
1976 Pittsburgh
1977 Notre Dame
1978 Alabama
1979 Alabama

1970s 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 Team Points
1 Oklahoma 212.5
T2 Alabama 191
T2 Nebraska 191
4 Michigan 187
5 USC 178
6 Ohio State 163
7 Notre Dame 152
8 Penn State 150
9 Texas 147.5
T10 Arizona State 100
T10 Arkansas 100
12 Houston 98
13 Auburn 79
14 Pittsburgh 73
15 Tennessee 70
16 UCLA 69
17 LSU 62
18 Maryland 55.5
19 Stanford 54
20 Colorado 53
21 Georgia 52
22 Texas A&M 51
23 NC State 42
24 Miami, Ohio 41
25 Washington 38
others receiving votes
North Carolina 34
Florida State 32
Purdue 29
Michigan State 28
Texas Tech 28
Clemson 27
Toledo 26
Baylor 24
California 21
Kentucky 20
Mississippi State 20
Missouri 20
Brigham Young 19
Georgia Tech 19
Tulane 14.5
Dartmouth 2
Oklahoma State 12
Florida 11
Mississippi 11
Air Force 10
San Diego State 10
Rutgers 9
Temple 9
Arizona 8
Kansas 8
Louisville 8
Indiana 7
Iowa State 7
Washington State 7
West Virginia 6