SportsDelve.com

Original and Historical Sports Research

  • No Longer Updated

    This website is no longer being updated. A handful of the articles have been updated and moved to FootballGeography.com

College Football: Associated Press Preseason No. 1’s

Posted by Andrew McKillop on August 21, 2011

Post Highlights

  • Only ten (a ratio of 1 out of 6) of the AP’s preseason No. 1’s have finished the season with the AP’s final No. 1 ranking.
  • Oklahoma has been the AP’s preseason No. 1 on ten occasions; the most preseason No. 1 rankings by any school.
  • Oklahoma has converted  four of their past nine applicable preseason No. 1 rankings (44%) into AP national titles.

 

In 2011 Oklahoma will start the season with the Associated Press’ No. 1 ranking.  Oklahoma has now been the AP’s preseason No. 1 on ten occasions.  It’s the most AP preseason No. 1 rankings by any school since the AP started the preseason poll in 1950.   Check out the chart below for info on all of the AP’s preseason No. 1’s.

Associated Press Preseason No. 1’s

Legend: Wks Held #1 (Weeks the school managed to hang onto the AP’s No. 1 ranking; doesn’t include their preseason ranking or subsequent No. 1 rankings that season)

Finished
Year AP Pre #1 Conf Wks Held #1 W L T W Pct AP Rk
1950 Notre Dame IND 1 Wks 4 4 1 0.500 UR
1951 Tennessee SEC 0 Wks 10 1 0 0.909 1
1952 Michigan State B10 1 Wks 9 0 0 1.000 1
1953 Notre Dame IND 8 Wks 9 0 1 0.950 2
1954 Notre Dame IND 0 Wks 9 1 0 0.900 4
1955 UCLA PAC 1 Wks 9 2 0 0.818 4
1956 Oklahoma B8 4 Wks 10 0 0 1.000 1
1957 Oklahoma B8 3 Wks 10 1 0 0.909 4
1958 Ohio State B10 1 Wks 6 1 2 0.778 8
1959 LSU SEC 7 Wks 9 2 0 0.818 3
1960 Syracuse IND 0 Wks 7 2 0 0.778 19
1961 Iowa B10 2 Wks 5 4 0 0.556 UR
1962 Ohio State B10 0 Wks 6 3 0 0.667 UR
1963 USC PAC 1 Wks 7 3 0 0.700 UR
1964 Mississippi SEC 0 Wks 5 5 1 0.500 UR
1965 Nebraska B8 0 Wks 10 1 0 0.909 5
1966 Alabama SEC 0 Wks 11 0 0 1.000 3
1967 Notre Dame IND 2 Wks 8 2 0 0.800 5
1968 Purdue B10 4 Wks 8 2 0 0.800 10
1969 Ohio State B10 9 Wks 8 1 0 0.889 4
Finished
Year AP Pre #1 Conf Wks Held #1 W L T W Pct AP Rk
1970 Ohio State B10 6 Wks 9 1 0 0.900 5
1971 Notre Dame IND 0 Wks 8 2 0 0.800 13
1972 Nebraska B8 0 Wks 9 2 1 0.792 4
1973 USC PAC 3 Wks 9 2 1 0.792 8
1974 Oklahoma B8 1 Wks 11 0 0 1.000 1
1975 Oklahoma B8 4 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 1
1976 Nebraska B8 0 Wks 9 3 1 0.731 9
1977 Oklahoma B8 0 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 7
1978 Alabama SEC 2 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 1
1979 USC PAC 5 Wks 11 0 1 0.958 2
1980 Ohio State B10 1 Wks 9 3 0 0.750 15
1981 Michigan B10 1 Wks 9 3 0 0.750 12
1982 Pittsburgh IND 1 Wks 9 3 0 0.750 10
1983 Nebraska B8 14 Wks 12 1 0 0.923 2
1984 Auburn SEC 0 Wks 9 4 0 0.692 14
1985 Oklahoma B8 1 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 1
1986 Oklahoma B8 3 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 3
1987 Oklahoma B8 10 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 3
1988 Florida State IND 1 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 3
1989 Michigan B10 0 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 7
Finished
Year AP Pre #1 Conf Wks Held #1 W L T W Pct AP Rk
1990 Miami FL IND 1 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 3
1991 Florida State IND 11 Wks 11 2 0 0.846 4
1992 Miami FL EAST 4 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 3
1993 Florida State ACC 11 Wks 12 1 0 0.923 1
1994 Florida SEC 1 Wks 10 2 1 0.808 7
1995 Florida State ACC 9 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 4
1996 Nebraska B12 4 Wks 11 2 0 0.846 6
1997 Penn State B10 4 Wks 9 3 0 0.750 16
1998 Ohio State B10 9 Wks 11 1 0 0.917 2
1999 Florida State ACC 16 Wks 12 0 0 1.000 1
2000 Nebraska B12 5 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 8
2001 Florida SEC 1 Wks 10 2 0 0.833 3
2002 Miami FL EAST 10 Wks 12 1 0 0.923 2
2003 Oklahoma B12 14 Wks 12 2 0 0.857 3
2004 USC PAC 15 Wks 13 0 0 1.000 1
2005 USC PAC 14 Wks 12 1 0 0.923 2
2006 Ohio State B10 14 Wks 12 1 0 0.923 2
2007 USC PAC 4 Wks 11 2 0 0.846 3
2008 Georgia SEC 0 Wks 10 3 0 0.769 13
2009 Florida SEC 6 Wks 13 1 0 0.929 3
2010 Alabama SEC 5 Wks 10 3 0 0.769 10
2011 Oklahoma B12 ? ? ? ? ? ?

 

As mentioned earlier Oklahoma has been the AP’s preseason No. 1 on ten occasions; the most by any school.  Check out the table below for more.

The Most AP No. 1 Rankings by School

Legend: Pct (Percentage of polls the school has been the AP preseason No. 1)

Rk School Pre #1 Pct
1 Oklahoma 10 16.1%
2 Ohio State 7 11.3%
3t Nebraska 6 9.7%
3t USC 6 9.7%
5t Florida State 5 8.1%
5t Notre Dame 5 8.1%


The Most AP No. 1 Rankings by Conference

Rk Conference Pre #1 Pct
1 Big Ten 13 21.0%
2 Big Eight (Defunct) 12 19.4%
3 Southeastern 11 17.7%
4 Independents 10 16.1%
5 Pacific-12 7 11.3%

 

Only ten (a ratio of 1 out of 6) of the AP’s preseason No. 1’s have finished the season with the AP’s final No. 1 ranking.  Listed below are the school that started and finished the season with the AP’s No. 1 ranking.

From AP Preseason No. 1 to the AP’s Final No. 1

Year School
1951 Tennessee
1952 Michigan State
1956 Oklahoma
1974 Oklahoma
1975 Oklahoma
1978 Alabama
1985 Oklahoma
1993 Florida State
1999 Florida State
2004 USC

 

Oklahoma has converted  four of their past nine applicable preseason No. 1 rankings (44%) into AP national titles.  The highest conversion rate amongst schools ranked as the preseason No. 1 more than once.  Followed by Florida State (40%) and Alabama (33%).

 

Additional Facts

The last AP preseason No. 1 to finish the season unranked in the final AP poll was Mississippi in 1964.  In fact Mississippi fell from the ranked in the first in-season AP poll, after their 27-21 loss to Kentucky.

AP preseason No. 1’s have finished the season with an average winning percentage of .844.

AP preseason No. 1’s have finished the season with an average ranking of No. 6 in the final AP poll.

The AP preseason No. 1 has met the eventual final AP No. 1 on 12 occasions.  It last occurred in 2010 when Alabama (preseason No. 1) lost to Auburn (final No. 1).  Thank you to Tex Noel for this fact.  He is Executive Director of The Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association, and he will soon be releasing a new version of his book, Stars of an Earlier Autumn: An Unofficial Pre-1937 College Football Records Book.

 

Reference: College Football at Sports-Reference.com

 

2 Responses to “College Football: Associated Press Preseason No. 1’s”

  1. David Hess said

    Enjoyed the post. We did a similar analysis, but looked at more than just the #1 teams and defending champ. And we limited the scope to the BCS years. The article is linked above. (I hope! I’m unfamiliar with this comment system.)

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Thanks David for the link. Sorry it didn’t show up sooner. Sometimes the spam filter catches comments that are not spam. Looks like preseason No. 1 and No. 2 are great spots to be in. You would think the high expectations would act as a curse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: