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Greatest Teams of the 1950s - The AP Rankings
Oklahoma head coach Bud Wilkinson
Oklahoma head coach Bud Wilkinson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 18, 2013


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 late 1950s according to the AP polls.


Decade Rankings - 1950s

The AP Rankings 

 
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By the AP Rankings - The Greatest Programs Ever
- 2013 AP Preseason Poll | Top Teams of All-time
- Top Teams of the 1930s | Top Teams of the 1940s
- Top Teams of the 1950s | Top Teams of the 1960s
- Top Teams of the 1970s | Top Teams of the 1980s
- Top Teams of the 1990s | Top Teams of the 2000s 
- Top Teams of the 2010s

The AP rankings might now be irrelevant since they don't have anything to do with determining a national champion anymore, but they're still great to use when analyzing college football on a historical scale.

Around since 1936, the AP college football poll has been through World War II, has changed and adapted with the times, and has often looked to make a statement when needed - like in 2003 by naming USC the national champion, even though LSU took home the BCS title..

Since the AP poll is the only consistent ranking system from 1936 through today, CFN came up with a scoring system to compare and contrast how the programs finished over the decades. Every time a team finished No. 1 in the final poll, it got 25 points. The No. 2 team got 24 points, No. 3 got 23 points, and so on.  Through the decades, the AP ranked the top ten teams for a few years before going back to the top 20 rankings, and eventually, the it went  to the top 25 system it's at now.

According to the scoring system, consistent production isn't necessarily rewarded. For example, if a team finished 17th for four straight years, it would get a total of 36 points (No. 17 gets 9 points). A team that finished the beginning of the decade No. 2 (24 points) and the end of the decade ranked tenth (16 points), but wasn't ranked any year in between, would get a total 40 points.

So with all of that in mind ...

1950 AP National Champions: 1950 Oklahoma - 1951 Tennessee - 1952 Michigan State - 1953 Maryland - 1954 Ohio State - 1955 Oklahoma - 1956 Oklahoma - 1957 Auburn - 1958 LSU - 1959 Syracuse

Rank Team Points
1 Oklahoma 212
2 Michigan State 154
3 Notre Dame 120
T4 Ohio State 120
T4 Wisconsin 107
6 Georgia Tech 104
T7 Maryland 102
T7 Tennessee 102
9 UCLA 97
10 Mississippi 94
11 Army 92
12 Texas 91
13 Auburn 87
14 TCU 82
15 Syracuse 72
16 Navy 69
T17 Illinois 67
T17 Michigan 67
19 Iowa 64
20 USC 63
T21 Clemson 58
T21 Miami, Fla. 58
23 Alabama 56
24 LSU 48
T25 Texas A&M 47
T25 Princeton 47
others receiving votes
Kentucky 46
California 45
Baylor 40
Duke 40
Florida 39
West Virginia 37
Stanford 36
Pittsburgh 34
Arkansas 33
Washington 33
Rice 27
Wyoming 24
Georgia 21
Purdue 21
Tulsa 21
Air Force 20
Penn State 20
Oregon State 16
Arizona State 14
Minnesota 14
Texas Tech 14
Virginia 13
Mississippi St 12
San Francisco 12
NC State 11
South Carolina 11
Virginia Tech 10
Boston Univ. 10
George Washington 9
Missouri 8
SMU 8
Washington St 8
Washington & Lee 8
Holy Cross 7
Oklahoma St 7
Colorado 6
Rutgers 6
Tulane 6
VMI 6

By the AP Rankings - The Greatest Programs Ever
- 2013 AP Preseason Poll | Top Teams of All-time
- Top Teams of the 1930s | Top Teams of the 1940s
- Top Teams of the 1950s | Top Teams of the 1960s
- Top Teams of the 1970s | Top Teams of the 1980s
- Top Teams of the 1990s | Top Teams of the 2000s 
- Top Teams of the 2010s