The AP poll is has been the most consistent ranking system over the long history of college football. What programs come out best? Here are the top programs according to a CFN formula using all the AP’s final rankings.
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The AP college football rankings don’t have anything to do with the College Football Playoff process, and they haven’t had a part in determining the actual national champion for over a decade, but they’ve been consistent and reliable since 1936.
No other ranking system provides a better historical snapshot of the last 90+ seasons.
There were times when the AP rankings went rogue – making the biggest splash in 2003 naming USC the national champion, and not BCS Champion LSU – and they’ve played a part in the past when it comes to split title winners. They just keep on marching along.
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 the rankings were only a top ten for a bit, and was later a top 20.
What does this all prove? Consistency is great, consistency at a high level matters more, and winning national championships – or coming close – make a program an all-time powerhouse.
AP Final Rankings Greatest Teams Of All-Time
Rankings from 1935 through to LSU’s national championship after the 2019 season. Who earned the most all-time respect and attention from the AP voters?