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Greatest Teams of the 1980s - The AP Rankings
Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne
Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2014


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 1980s according to the AP polls.


Decade Rankings - 1980s

The AP Rankings 

 
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By the AP Rankings - The Greatest Programs Ever
- 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 ...

1980 AP National Champions: 1980 Georgia - 1981 Clemson - 1982 Penn St - 1983 Miami - 1984 BYU - 1985 Oklahoma - 1986 Penn St - 1987 Miami - 1988 Notre Dame - 1989 Miami
 
RANK TEAM POINTS
1 Nebraska 190
2 Miami 174
3 Michigan 144
4 Oklahoma 142
5 UCLA 128
6 Penn State 125
T7 Auburn 124
T7 Florida State 124
9 Georgia 113
10 Clemson 112
11 Alabama 106
T12 Ohio State 99
T12 USC 99
14 SMU 94
15 BYU 85
16 Washington 80
17 Pittsburgh 79
18 LSU 76
19 Notre Dame 75
20 Arkansas 69
21 Iowa 66
22 Florida 64
23 Arizona State 58
T24 Tennessee 55
T24 Texas A&M 55
others receiving votes
  Texas 54
  West Virginia 52
  Oklahoma State 49
  North Carolina 41
  Baylor 35
  Boston College 35
  Syracuse 35
  Illinois 32
  Air Force 31
  Maryland 28
  Michigan State 28
  Colorado 22
  Houston 20
  Arizona 16
  South Carolina 15
  Virginia 14
  Washington St 10
  Purdue 9
  Georgia Tech 7
  Kentucky 7
  Mississippi St 7
  Missouri 7
  Texas Tech 7
  East Carolina 6
  Indiana 6
  Virginia Tech 5

By the AP Rankings - The Greatest Programs Ever
- 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










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