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AP Poll All-Time Preseason Top 25 College Football Rankings

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According to the AP Poll top 25 rankings, how did all the preseason rankings stack up since the poll came out before the 1950 season?

How have the narratives for the college football seasons been shaped for over 70 years? The preseason polls and rankings.

The AP poll began ranking teams throughout the season and declared a national champion starting in 1936, but it didn’t crank up the preseason version until 1950 – the same year the UPI Coaches Poll was created.

It’s still a bizarre concept to this day – much like our grandchildren won’t believe there was a time when a playoff system was based on the whims of a small panel of judges – but the polls and rankings used to mean everything in determining a national champion.

The preseason rankings all but cemented things in stone. If you started out in the top two, you were going to be in the mix for the national title as long as you didn’t lose. If you were outside of the top two to start the season – and, sometimes, if you weren’t No. 1 – you needed help.

The preseason polls still set the expectations at the start of every season, and the AP version remains the one that gets the most publicity.

Since 1950, how did the AP media members perceive the top teams before the seasons? Which schools got the most respect in the AP preseason college football polls?

AP Poll, All-Time Rankings: Final
AP Top Programs of All-Time | 1930s | 1940s1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | 2020s
Coaches Poll All-Time Final Rankings | Preseason Rankings
AP Preseason Poll All-Time Rankings
1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | 2020s

AP: Preseason College Football Top 25 Rankings 1950 to 2021

CFN devised a scoring system giving every AP-ranked preseason No. 1 team from 1950 to 2021 25 points, the No. 2 team 24, No. 3 23, and so on down to the bottom of the top 20 in the early years, and then it became the top 25 later on.

1 Oklahoma 1227

2 Ohio State 1195

3 Alabama 1030

4 USC 979

5 Notre Dame 975

6 Texas 931

7 Michigan 914

8 Nebraska 816

9 Penn State 713

10 Florida State 685

11 LSU 633

12 Florida 625

13 Tennessee 592

14 Auburn 581

15 Georgia 567

16 Miami 545

17 UCLA 511

18 Michigan State 464

19 Washington 450

20 Texas A&M 440

21 Clemson 436

22 Wisconsin 362

23 Arkansas 356

24 Ole Miss 294

25 Iowa 293

College Football Rankings: 2022 CFN Preseason Ranking Of All 131 Teams

Also Receiving Votes or Points: Pitt 273; Stanford 259; Colorado 246; Oregon 236; Maryland 225; North Carolina 208; TCU 197; Syracuse 191; Purdue 188; Illinois 176; West Virginia 172; Cal 160; Houston 127; Kansas State 125; SMU 118; South Carolina 114; Army 109; Arizona 105; Oklahoma State 104; Missouri 100; Navy 97; Duke 96; Baylor 93; BYU 90; Louisville 87; Boise State 82; Northwestern 76; Oregon State 65; Mississippi State 59; Minnesota 56; Virginia 54; Texas Tech 51; Kentucky 50; Kansas 49; NC State 43; Rice 39; Indiana 34; Iowa State 33; Princeton 27; Cincinnati 24; Cornell 23; Pennsylvania 21; Boston College 20; UCF 19; Colorado State 16; USF 14; Air Force 11; Rutgers 10; Indiana 9; Southern Miss 8; Miami University 6; Coastal Carolina 4; Fresno State 2

AP Preseason Polls
1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s 

AP Poll Preseason College Football Rankings: 2020 to 2021 Top 25: NEXT

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