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College Football: Defending AP No. 1 in the AP Preseason Poll

Posted by Andrew McKillop on August 20, 2011

Post Highlights

  • Auburn’s No. 23 ranking in the AP preseason poll, is the lowest ranking by a defending AP No. 1 since Minnesota was unranked in 1961.
  • Auburn is one of only five defending AP No. 1”s to be ranked out of the top ten of the AP preseason poll.
  • The defending AP No. 1 has an average ranking of No. 4 in the AP preseason poll.



In 2010 Auburn finished with college football’s No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll.  In 2011 the AP ranked Auburn No. 23 in their preseason poll.  It’s the lowest ranking a defending AP No. 1 has received in the AP preseason poll since 1961, when defending AP No. 1 Minnesota was unranked in the 1961 AP preseason poll. It’s important to keep in mind though that the AP only ranked ten teams in the 1961 preseason poll.  Check out the table below for a complete listing.

Defending AP No. 1 in the AP Preseason Poll

Def AP #1 AP Pre Rk Def AP #1 AP Pre Rk
Auburn 2011 23 Alabama 1980 2
Alabama 2010 1 Alabama 1979 2
Florida 2009 1 Notre Dame 1978 5
LSU 2008 7 Pittsburgh 1977 7
Florida 2007 6 Oklahoma 1976 5
Texas 2006 3 Oklahoma 1975 1
USC 2005 1 Notre Dame 1974 3
USC 2004 1 USC 1973 1
Ohio State 2003 2 Nebraska 1972 1
Miami FL 2002 1 Nebraska 1971 2
Oklahoma 2001 3 Texas 1970 2
Florida State 2000 2 Ohio State 1969 1
Tennessee 1999 2 USC 1968 2
Michigan 1998 5 Notre Dame 1967 1
Florida 1997 2 Alabama 1966 1
Nebraska 1996 1 Alabama 1965 5
Nebraska 1995 2 Texas 1964 4
Florida State 1994 3 USC 1963 1
Alabama 1993 2 Alabama 1962 3
Miami FL 1992 1 Minnesota 1961 UR
Colorado 1991 13 Syracuse 1960 1
Miami FL 1990 1 LSU 1959 1
Notre Dame 1989 2 Auburn 1958 5
Miami FL 1988 8 Oklahoma 1957 1
Penn State 1987 11 Oklahoma 1956 1
Oklahoma 1986 1 Ohio State 1955 4
BYU 1985 10 Maryland 1954 3
Miami FL 1984 10 Michigan State 1953 2
Penn State 1983 4 Tennessee 1952 6
Clemson 1982 11 Oklahoma 1951 4
Georgia 1981 10 Notre Dame 1950 1



The defending AP No. 1 has an average ranking of No. 4 in the AP preseason poll.

The defending AP No. 1 has been ranked No. 1 in the following AP preseason poll 21 times.  It’s the most common ranking for a defending AP No. 1.  The second most common preseason ranking for a defending AP No. 1 has been No. 2 (13 times).

Only five defending AP No. 1′s have been ranked out of the top ten in the AP preseason poll.

Def AP #1 AP Pre Rk Finished AP Rk
Minnesota 1961 UR 8-2 6
Clemson 1982 11 9-1-1 8
Penn State 1987 11 8-4 UR
Colorado 1991 13 8-3-1 20
Auburn 2011 23 ? ?



Reference: College Football at Sports-Reference.com

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