The Greatest Program Of All-Time Is ...
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
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 teams since 1936 according to the AP polls.


All-Time Decade Rankings

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.

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 with the No. 25 team getting one point.  Through the decades, the AP ranked the top ten teams for a few years before going back to the top 20 rankings, and eventually, 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.

One fascinating thing to note: all the club teams that played during World War II. Notice the rankings of the all-star teams like the Iowa Pre-Fight juggernaut and the Bainbridge NTS powerhouse. In the end, though, the big-name programs you'd think would rock, did. There's a reason the superpowers of today got their reputations - they won.

However, things can change in a big hurry. When we did this in 2000, Notre Dame was on top of the world by a huge margin. Over a decade later and a following down period, things have changed up a bit.

So here we go - here are the greatest college football programs since 1936 according to the AP rankings.

RANK TEAM POINTS
1 Oklahoma 953
2 Michigan  943
3 Ohio State 927
4 Alabama  923
5 Notre Dame 918
6 Nebraska 783
7 USC 782
8 Texas  771
9 Tennessee 678
10 Penn State 646
11 LSU 590
12 Georgia 531
13 Auburn  526
14 Miami 511
T15 Florida 486
T15 Florida State 486
17 UCLA 477
18 Arkansas  439
19 Michigan State 380
20 Texas A&M 356
21 Washington 330
22 Georgia Tech 325
23 Ole Miss 322
24 Wisconsin 305
25 Iowa 302
Others Receiving Votes
26 Clemson 299
27 Pitt 293
28 Colorado 258
29 Army 239
30 Maryland 238
31 Minnesota 236
32 TCU 230
33 Stanford  226
34 Arizona State 223
35 Missouri 218
36 Virginia Tech 213
37 Duke 210
38 Oregon 206
T39 Navy 199
T39 North Carolina 199
41 Purdue 196
42 West Virginia 194
43 Syracuse 191
T44 BYU 178
T44 Illinois 178
46 California 174
T47 Kansas State 168
T47 SMU 168
49 Houston 164
50 Boston College 150
51 Oklahoma State 137
52 Boise State 136
53 Northwestern 135
54 Baylor 132
55 Washington State 123
56 Oregon State 120
57 Rice 107
58 N.C. State 105
59 Texas Tech 104
60 Mississippi State 99
61 Kansas 96
T62 Kentucky 96
T62 South Carolina 96
64 Penn 95
65 Louisville 91
66 Fordham 88
67 Santa Clara 86
68 Tulsa 79
69 Arizona 76
T70 Air Force 75
T70 Utah 75
72 Tulane 74
73 Virginia 66
74 Indiana 63
75 Princeton 55
T76 Cornell 54
T76 Yale 54
78 Holy Cross 52
79 Wyoming 48
80 Dartmouth 47
81 Duquesne 46
82 Iowa Pre-Flight 44
T83 Miami Univ. 41
T83 Villanova 41
85 Rutgers 40
86 Cincinnati 37
87 William & Mary 33
88 March Field 32
T89 Colorado State 31
T89 Toledo 31
91 Bainbridge NTS 30
92 Great Lakes 29
93 Utah State 26
94 Southern Miss 25
T95 East Carolina 23
T95 Pacific 23
T95 Randolph Field 23
98 Wake Forest 22
99 Carnegie Tech 20
100 State Mary's (Cal.) 19
T101 Del Monte P-F 18
T101 Marshall 18
103 Vanderbilt 17
104 Nevada 15
T105 Georgetown 13
T105 Hawaii 13
T107 Columbia 12
T107 Norman Pre-Flight 12
T107 San Francisco 12
T110 Boston University 10
T110 El Toro Marines 10
T110 San Diego State 10
T113 George Washington 9
T113 Hardin-Simmons 9
T113 New Mexico State 9
T113 Temple 9
T117 Colorado College 8
T117 Fort Pierce 8
T117 Iowa State 8
T117 Washington & Lee 8
T121 Delaware 7
T121 Lafayette 7
T121 State Mary's P-F 7
T124 Fresno State 6
T124 Marquette 6
T124 Ohio 6
T124 Sec. Air Force 6
T124 Virginia Military 6
T129 San Jose State 5
T129 UCF 5
131 Northern Illinois 4
T132 Bowling Green 3
T132 Central Michigan 3