Ohio State tops among schools that got to No. 1


By Ralph D. Russo - AP College Football Writer



FILE - In this Nov. 3, 1974, file photo, Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes tips his cap as members of the Buckeyes carry him off the field following a 49-7 victory over Illinois in Columbus in 1974.


In the history of college football, only 44 schools have been able to make the claim “We’re No. 1” and have The Associated Press poll back up the boast.

That means just 15 percent of the 296 schools listed as having played major college football at some point by sports-reference.com have ever held the No. 1 ranking for at least one poll. Of those 44 schools, only 21 have been No. 1 in 10 or more polls.

The first No. 1 was Minnesota in 1936. The most recent school to make the list was Mississippi State in 2014.

For the first time, AP has ranked the No. 1s by the number of times a program has held the top spot. Ohio State leads the way with 105 times. There have been a handful of ties at No. 1 over 80 seasons and each team in that situation received one-half point.

For fun, AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo picked the best of each school’s teams to hold the No. 1 ranking. There were some tough calls, so to determine the No. 1 team of the No. 1s, Russo used the following criteria:

• Championship teams were given preference.

• Time spent at No. 1 during a single season was considered and late-season polls were given greater consideration.

• A metric called simple rating system found at sports-reference.com was referenced to give some perspective on dominance relative to a team’s era. The game and its players have changed so much over the decades that there is no way to truly compare, say, the 1958 LSU team with the 2007 national champion Tigers.

• Some feedback from reporters and sports information directors who have covered a school for decades was used.

No. 1 Ohio State (105 times)

Championships — Five (1942, 1954, 1968, 2002, 2014).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 1, 2015.

Longest run at No. 1: 15 straight polls, 2006 preseason-Dec. 3, 2006.

Best decade: 1970s, 32 times at No. 1.

Best No. 1 team: 1968.

Russo’s reasoning: The recent Buckeyes championships include one of the great title-game upsets in college football history (2002) and a team (2014) that produced maybe the most bountiful NFL draft class ever. But the best Buckeyes team is a choice between coach Woody Hayes’ first national champion (1954) and his second (1968). Hayes himself called the ‘68 team with Jack Tatum and Rex Kern one of the best in college football history, so that’s good enough for me. Those Buckeyes shut out then-No. 1 Purdue 13-0 early in the season, thumped No. 1 Michigan 50-14 and beat No. 2 USC 27-16 in the Rose Bowl.

No. 2 Oklahoma (100½)

Championships — Seven (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Sept. 18, 2011.

Longest run at No. 1 — 15 straight polls, 2003 preseason-Nov. 30, 2003.

Best decade: 1950s, 26 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1974.

Russo’s reasoning: Bud, Barry or Bob? The three coaches who have led the Sooners to national titles all had teams that can make a case for best in OU history. Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners won a record 47 straight games in the ’50s. Bob Stoops’ 2000 champions went unbeaten through the Big 12 at its best. Still, the Barry Switzer era produced the best of the best Oklahoma teams in 1974 with a squad NCAA sanctions kept off TV and out of the postseason. That wasn’t a problem for AP voters, who never had Lee Roy Selmon, Joe Washington and the ‘74 Sooners ranked lower than No. 3.

No. 3 Notre Dame (98)

Championships — Eight (1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 18, 2012.

Longest run at No. 1 — 11 straight polls, Oct. 17, 1966-Sept. 25, 1967.

Best decade — 1940s, 30 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1947.

College football wasn’t quite as deep in the 1940s when coach Frank Leahy won four of Notre Dame’s eight national titles, but he did have monster teams. From 1946-49, the Fighting Irish were never ranked worse than No. 3 — and that was for one week in 1946. Otherwise, it was either No. 1 or 2 for Notre Dame. Which team was best? I’ll take the 1947 team with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lujack at quarterback and lineman Leon Hart, who would go on to win the Heisman in ‘49.

No. 4 Southern California (90½)

Championships — Five (1962, 1967, 1972, 2003, 2004).

Most recent No. 1 ranking. 2012 preseason.

Longest run at No. 1 — 33 straight polls (record), Dec. 7, 2003-Dec. 4, 2005.

Best decade — 2000s, 45 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1972.

Russo’s reasoning: USC football’s golden ages during the AP poll era came under coaches John McKay and Pete Carroll. So it’s only fair that the competition for best Trojans team comes down to McKay’s (1972) or Carroll’s (2004). The ‘72 squad with Anthony Davis began the season No. 8, crushed No. 4 Arkansas on the road in its opener and was No. 1 for the rest of the season. The ‘04 Trojans of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush is one of only two teams to go wire-to-wire (preseason to final poll) as No. 1. Both had wipeout bowl victories, but ‘72 gets the nod for playing only one game decided by less than 17 points.

No. 5 Alabama (74)

Championships — 10 (1961, 1964, 1965, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 2015 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — 15 straight polls, 2012 final-Oct. 24, 2013.

Best decade: 2010s, 35 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1961.

Russo’s reasoning: Maybe the most amazing thing about Nick Saban’s run at Alabama is that none of his championship teams stands way above the rest. They are all sort of equally awesome. So for the best of the best we’ll look to Bear Bryant’s boys. Bryant was partial to 1961. That team went unbeaten behind linemen Billy Neighbors and Lee Roy Jordan and quarterback Pat Trammell. The Bear’s first championship team allowed only three touchdowns and had six shutouts.

No. 6 (tie) Florida State (72)

Championships — Three (1993, 1999, 2013).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 23, 2014.

Longest run at No. 1 — 17 straight polls, 1999 preseason-1999 final.

Best decade — 1990s, 57 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1999.

Russo’s reasoning: All the Seminoles championship teams were led by quarterbacks (Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke and Jameis Winston) who won the Heisman. Weinke’s award came in 2000. All were loaded with future NFL talent. It was Bobby Bowden’s ‘99 team, though, that pulled off a poll feat that had never been done before by going wire-to-wire as No. 1 from the preseason to the final poll. A spectacular Sugar Bowl performance by Florida State’s Peter Warrick helped lock up the BCS championship against Michael Vick and Virginia Tech.

No. 6 (tie) Nebraska (72)

Championships — Four (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 22, 2000.

Longest run at No. 1 — 15 straight polls, Sept. 13, 1971-1972 preseason.

Best decade — 1990s, 23 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1971.

Russo’s reasoning: Coach Bob Devaney’s ‘71 Huskers and Tom Osborne’s ‘95 team are not only considered Nebraska’s best, but they both will get tossed into consideration for best of their respective decades. Both crushed bowl opponents to finish their seasons. The pick here is Johnny Rodgers and the ‘71 team, which started the season at No. 2, jumped to No. 1 after an opening blowout, and never gave it up. Along the way Nebraska beat No. 2 Oklahoma 35-31 in a Game of the Century that lived up to the billing.

No. 8 Miami (67)

Championships — Five (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Dec. 8, 2002.

Longest run at No. 1 — 21 straight polls, Oct. 14, 2001-Oct. 27, 2002.

Best decade — 2000, 29 ½ times.

Best No. 1 team — 2001.

Russo’s reasoning: The second (though relatively brief) incarnation of the Miami dynasty produced the program’s best team after three coaches won four championships from 1983-91. The 2001 ‘Canes’ roster reads like an NFL roster. Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis and Frank Gore all at running back. They were No. 1 in all but three polls that season (three times No. 2) and beat their opponents by 34 points per game under first-year coach Larry Coker.

No. 9 Texas (44.5)

Championships — Three (1963, 1969, 2005).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 26, 2008.

Longest run at No. 1 — Nine straight polls, Oct. 14, 1963-1963 final.

Best decade — 1960s, 23 times.

Best No. 1 team — 2005.

Russo’s reasoning: All three championship teams finished unbeaten, and the ‘63 and ‘69 squads spent more time at No. 1 than Mack Brown’s ‘05 team. The last Longhorns’ national title team was No. 2 all season behind Southern California before keeping the Trojans from the first AP title three-peat. Extra credit to the ‘05 team for Vince Young’s Rose Bowl performance, maybe the greatest by an individual in college football history.

No. 10 Florida (41)

Championships — Three (1996, 2006, 2008).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 29, 2009.

Longest run at No. 1 — 10 straight polls, Sept. 23, 1996-Nov. 25, 1996.

Best decade — 1990s, 21 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1996.

Russo’s reasoning: Steve Spurrier’s Gators or Urban Meyer’s Gators? Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel or Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow? Neither team finished unbeaten, but the ‘96 team was No. 1 most of the season before losing by three at No. 2 Florida State in November. The Gators then avenged that loss in the Sugar Bowl, 52-20.

No. 11 Michigan (34)

Championships — Two (1948, 1997).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1997 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Eight straight polls, Sept. 14, 1976-Nov. 2, 1976.

Best decade — 1970s, 12 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1948.

Russo’s reasoning: The ‘48 team was a continuation of the dominant ‘47 team, which went 10-0 with a 49-0 victory against USC in the Rose Bowl. The final poll was taken before the bowl games back then, though a special post-bowl vote (no longer recognized by the AP or NCAA) gave Coach Fritz Crisler’s “Mad Magicians” the top spot. Crisler retired and handed the team to Bennie Oosterbaan in 1948. The Wolverines rolled to another unbeaten season that included five shutouts.

No. 12 LSU (30)

Championships — Two (1958, 2007).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Dec. 4, 2011.

Longest run at No. 1 — 14 straight polls, Oct. 27, 1958-Nov. 2, 1959.

Best decade — 1950s, 14 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1958.

Russo’s reasoning: The 2007 Tigers were talented and fortunate, becoming the first and only team to lose twice during the regular season and become AP national champions. So the ‘58 team is an easy choice as the best for LSU. Those Tigers had Billy Cannon (who won the Heisman in ‘59) and a defense nicknamed the Chinese Bandits that allowed more than seven points in only one game all season.

No. 13 Michigan State (29)

Championships — One (1952).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 10, 1966.

Longest run at No. 1 — Eight straight polls, Oct. 13, 1952-1952 final.

Best decade — 1950s, 16 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1952.

Russo’s reasoning: Under coach Clarence “Biggie” Munn, the Spartans won a school-record 28 straight games, a streak that started in 1950 and ended in 1953. The ‘51 Spartans went unbeaten but had to settle for No. 2 in the final AP poll behind Tennessee. The ‘52 Spartans, led by Don McAuliffe, Ellis Duckett and Paul Dekker, were No. 1 all but one week of the season.

No. 14 Army (27)

Championships — Two (1944, 1945).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 20, 1958.

Longest run at No. 1 — 15 straight polls, Oct. 30, 1944-1945 final

Best decade — 1940s, 22 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1944.

Russo’s reasoning: Both Army championship teams stand among the most dominant in college football history, but coach Red Blaik’s 1944 Black Knights get the nod. With two eventual Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard, ‘45 and Glenn Davis ‘46), Army outscored its opponents 504-35 and had four shutouts.

No. 15 Pittsburgh (21)

Championships — Two (1937, 1976).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 1, 1982.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, twice (1937, 1981).

Best decade — 1930s and 1980s, eight times.

Best No. 1 team — 1976.

Russo’s reasoning: Led by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, the Panthers went undefeated and were ranked in the top three most of the season. Coach Johnny Majors’ team jumped to No. 1 in early November and completed their championship season by beating Georgia 27-3 in the Sugar Bowl.

No. 16 Penn State (19)

Championships — Two (1982, 1986)

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 13, 1997.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, Nov. 12, 1985-Dec. 10, 1985.

Best decade — 1990s, eight times.

Best No. 1 team — 1982.

Russo’s reasoning: Joe Paterno had four teams that went unbeaten and didn’t finish No. 1 so an argument can be made the best Penn State team of all time was not one that won a national title. Maybe the 1994 team, which spent two weeks at No. 1 and finished No. 2 to Nebraska? Neither championship team reached No. 1 until the final poll. The ‘86 team went undefeated and upset Miami in the Fiesta Bowl, but the ‘82 team with quarterback Todd Blackledge and running back Curt Warner faced six ranked teams on the way to a title.

No. 17 Tennessee (18)

Championships — Two (1951, 1998)

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1998 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Six straight polls, Nov. 9, 1998-1998 final.

Best decade — 1950s, eight times.

Best No. 1 team — 1951.

Russo’s reasoning: The ‘51 Volunteers would seem to be the obvious choice. Under coach Robert Neyland, the Vols were never ranked lower than No. 3 and were No. 1 six times. Led by Heisman runner-up Hank Lauricella and future Hall of Famer Doug Atkins, the Vols had five shutouts. One problem: The Vols lost the Sugar Bowl to Maryland, but because there were so few bowls the final poll was taken before they were played.

No. 18 Minnesota (17 ½ )

Championships — Four (1936, 1940, 1941, 1960)

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1960 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, twice (1940, 1941).

Best decade — 1940s, 10½.

Best No. 1 team — 1941.

Russo’s reasoning: Both the 1940 and ‘41 teams went unbeaten under coach Bernie Bierman, but the ‘41 team spent most of the season as the No. 1 team and was more dominant, outscoring opponents 186-38. Halfback Bruce Smith became the first — and still only — Heisman Trophy winner for the Golden Gophers.

No. 19 Georgia (15)

Championships — One (1980).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 2008 preseason.

Longest run at No. 1 — Six straight polls, Nov. 10, 1980-1980 final.

Best decade — 1980s, 11 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1980.

Russo’s reasoning: Coach Vince Dooley’s team began the season ranked No. 16, but fabulous freshman Herschel Walker led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten season and the school’s only national championship. Georgia reached No. 1 late in the season and beat No. 7 Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl to seal the title.

No. 20 Washington (14 1/2)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 3, 1992.

Longest run at No. 1 — Six straight polls, Sept. 13, 1982-Oct. 18, 1982.

Best decade — 1980s, 10 times.

Best No. 1 team — 1992.

Russo’s reasoning: The funny thing about Washington is the best team in school history never was ranked better than No. 2 in the AP poll. The 1991 Huskies under Don James finished the season unbeaten and No. 2 behind Miami, but were crowned champions by the coaches’ poll. Much of that team came back in 1992 and spent the first nine weeks of the season at either No. 1 (five times) or two, before losing three of its last four games to ranked teams. It was a disappointing finish for a loaded team that included quarterback Mark Brunell and All-America tackle Lincoln Kennedy.

No. 21 Iowa (11)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 29, 1985.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, Oct. 1, 1985-Oct. 29, 1989.

Best decade — 1960s, six times.

Best No. 1 team — 1960.

Russo’s reasoning: The 1985 Iowa team was No. 1 for five weeks and ranked in the top six all season before finishing No. 10, with Heisman runner-up Chuck Long at quarterback. But coach Hayden Fry’s best team has to get in line behind Forest Evashevski’s 1960 team that finished 8-1, losing only to national champion Minnesota, while beating six teams that were ranked when they played.

No. 22 Auburn (9)

Championships — Two (1957, 2010).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 2010 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Three straight polls, Sept. 10, 1985-Sept. 24, 1985.

Best decade — 1980s, four.

Best No. 1 team — 2010.

Russo’s reasoning: Both the 1957 and 2010 Auburn teams were only No. 1 in the final two AP polls of those seasons. It’s a close call. The ‘57 team allowed only four touchdowns all season, but Cam Newton’s ‘10 national title team went 14-0 against better competition, relatively speaking.

No. 23 Oregon (8)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 11, 2012.

Longest run at No. 1 — Seven straight polls, Oct. 17, 2010-Nov. 28, 2010.

Best decade — 2010s, eight times.

Best No. 1 team — 2010.

Russo’s reasoning: Marcus Mariota’s 2014 team never reached 1, so the ‘10 Ducks are the easy pick for best of the Chip Kelly/Mark Helfrich era. Heisman finalist LaMichael James led the way for the fast-paced Ducks, who lost the BCS title game to Auburn on a last-play field goal.

No. 24 (tie) Clemson (7)

Championships — 1981.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Dec. 6, 2015.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, Nov. 8, 2015-Dec. 6, 2015.

Best decade — 2010s, five times.

Best No. 1 team — 1981.

Russo’s reasoning: Clemson’s first and only championship team ranks among one of the more surprising titles in the poll era. The Tigers were unranked to start the season, made some big jumps to get into the top five and then took the No. 1 ranking and unbeaten record into the Orange Bowl against Nebraska. Quarterback Homer Jordan led coach Danny Ford’s team to a 22-15 victory that still stands as the greatest in program history.

No. 24 (tie) Colorado (7)

Championships — One (1990).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1990 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, Nov. 20, 1990-1990 final

Best decade — 1990s, four times.

Best No. 1 team — 1990.

Russo’s reasoning: The championship was controversial. The 1990 team benefited from the infamous “fifth down” game, during which the Buffaloes scored the winning touchdown on a mistakenly given fifth down against Missouri. And a clipping penalty against Notre Dame on Raghib Ismail’s fourth-quarter punt return for a touchdown helped them win the Orange Bowl. The coaches’ poll crowned Georgia Tech its champion. There was no doubting, though, that coach Bill McCartney’s team was loaded with players including running back Eric Bienemy and linebacker Chad Brown and can comfortably be called the best No. 1 in school history.

No. 24 (tie) Syracuse (7)

Championships — One (1959).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 3, 1960.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, Nov. 9, 1959-1959 final.

Best decade — 1950s, five times.

Best No. 1 team — 1959.

Russo’s reasoning: Led by Ernie Davis, who went on to win the 1961 Heisman Trophy, the then-Orangemen went undefeated behind coach Ben Schwartzwalder. Syracuse plowed through most of its competition. The only regular season game decided by a single-digit margin was a 20-18 victory at Penn State.

No. 24 (tie) UCLA (7)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 25, 1988.

Longest run at No. 1 — Two straight polls, three times (1954, 1955, 1988).

Best decade — 1950s, four times.

Best No. 1 team — 1954.

Russo’s reasoning: Coach Red Sanders had a string of top-notch teams in the 1950s, but we’ll take the 1954 team that went 9-0, beat rival USC 34-0 and finished No. 2 in the country. Because the Bruins played in the Rose Bowl the previous season, the Trojans got to go after the 1954 season, which helps explain why the AP wasn’t doing a poll after the postseason in those days.

No. 28 Texas A&M (6½)

Championships — One (1939).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 11, 1957.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, Nov. 11, 1939-1939 final.

Best decade — 1950s, 3½ times.

Best No. 1 team — 1939.

Russo’s reasoning: Coach Homer Norton’s Aggies rolled through the Southwest Conference, allowing only eight points in six games. The final No. 1 ranking came before they beat No. 5 Tulane 14-13 in the Sugar Bowl to finish 11-0.

No. 29 Maryland (6)

Championships — One (1953).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 31, 1955.

Longest run at No. 1 — Two straight polls twice (1953, 1955).

Best decade — 1950s, six times.

Best No. 1 team — 1953.

Russo’s reasoning: The Terrapins had six shutouts in an undefeated regular season that ended with victories against Mississippi and Alabama by a combined 59-0. Coach Jim Tatum’s team did lose the Orange Bowl to coach Bud Wilkinson and Oklahoma, 7-0.

No. 30 (tie) Mississippi (5)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1964 preseason.

Longest run at No. 1 — Two straight polls, Sept. 19, 1960-Sept. 24, 1960.

Best decade — 1960s, five times.

Best No. 1 team — 1960.

Russo’s reasoning: Coach John Vaught reigned over the most successful era of Ole Miss football and the 1960 team stands as the best of the bunch. Quarterback Jake Gibbs and the Rebels had three weeks at No. 1 and only a 6-6 tie against LSU kept Ole Miss from going unbeaten. The Rebels finished No. 2 in the country.

No. 30 (tie) Mississippi State (5)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 9, 2014.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, Oct. 12, 2014-Nov. 9, 2014.

Best decade — 2010s, five times.

No. 1 team — 2014.

Mississippi State had never been ranked higher than No. 7 before the Bulldogs surged to the top of the AP poll in 2014 and stayed there for five weeks. Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs stumbled some down the stretch and finished 10-3 and No. 11.

No. 30 (tie) Northwestern (5)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 5, 1962.

Longest run at No. 1 — Three straight polls, Nov. 2, 1936-Nov. 16, 1936.

Best decade — 1930s, three times.

Best No. 1 team — 1936.

Russo’s reasoning: The first year of the AP poll, the Wildcats spent three weeks at No. 1 and beat eventual national champion Minnesota 6-0. A 26-6 loss to Notre Dame in the season finale dumped coach Pappy Waldorf’s team to 7-1 and a final ranking of No. 7.

No. 30 (tie) Purdue (5)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 7, 1968.

Longest run at No. 1 — Five straight polls, 1968 preseason-Oct. 7, 1968.

Best decade — 1960s, five times.

No. 1 team — 1968.

After finishing ninth and being a top-10 team most of the 1967, the Boilermakers were No. 1 for the first time to start the 1968 season and stayed there for the first five weeks. Purdue won a 1 vs. 2 matchup against Notre Dame in September and running back Leroy Keyes went on to finish second to O.J. Simpson in the Heisman voting, but the Boilermakers lost at Ohio State and Minnesota to finish 8-2.

No. 34 (tie) California (4)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 15, 1951.

Longest run at No. 1 — Three straight polls, Oct. 18, 1937-Nov. 1, 1937.

Best decade — 1930s, three times.

Best No. 1 team — 1937.

Russo’s reasoning: The Golden Bears under coach Stub Allison were either No. 1 or No. 2 all season, with only a scoreless tie against Washington blemishing their record. Cal finished off the season beating Alabama 13-0 in the Rose Bowl

No. 34 (tie) Cornell (4)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 4, 1940.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, Oct. 14, 1940-Nov. 4, 1940.

No. 1 team — 1940.

The only Ivy League team to hold the top spot in the AP poll, though it should be noted that the Ivy League didn’t become an official NCAA conference until 1954. Big Red beat Army, Syracuse and Ohio State by a combined 99-13 during a three-week stretch but lost its final two games to Dartmouth (3-0) and Penn (22-20).

No. 34 (tie) BYU (4)

Championships — One (1984).

Most recent No. 1 ranking —1984 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Four straight polls, Nov. 20, 1984-1984 final.

No. 1 team — 1984.

The Cougars were the only undefeated major college team in a strange season that gave coach LaVell Edwards his only national championship. The only ranked team BYU beat was in its opener against No. 3 Pitt, but the Panthers finished 3-7-1. A hobbled quarterback Robbie Bosco led the Cougars to a 24-17 victory in the Holiday Bowl against Michigan (6-6) to cap a 13-0 season.

No. 37 Virginia (3)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 30, 1990.

Longest run at No. 1 — Three straight polls, Oct. 16, 1990-Oct. 30, 1990.

No. 1 team — 1990.

The Moores (quarterback Shawn and receiver Herman) had the Cavaliers No. 1 in the country when they lost a thriller 41-38 to Georgia Tech, which went on to an unbeaten season. The Cavaliers’ season came apart as they lost their final three games to finish 8-4 and ranked No. 23.

No. 38 (tie) TCU (2)

Championships — One (1938).

Most recent No. 1 ranking — 1938 final.

Longest run at No. 1 — Never ranked No. 1 in consecutive weeks.

No. 1 team — 1938.

Led by quarterback Davey O’Brien, ,the guy who now has a trophy named after him, the Horned Frogs went undefeated, including a 15-7 victory in the Sugar Bowl against Carnegie Mellon.

No. 38 (tie) SMU (2)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Oct. 23, 1950-Oct. 30, 1950.

No. 1 team — 1950.

A 5-0 start to the season that included victories against Georgia Tech, No. 11 Ohio State and No. 15 Rice put the Mustangs coached by H.N. Russell on top of the polls in late October. They finished the season losing four of five to Southwest Conference rivals and ended up 6-4 and unranked.

No. 38 (tie) Missouri (2)

Championships — None.

Most recent No. 1 ranking — Nov. 25, 2007.

Longest run at No. 1 — Never ranked No. 1 in consecutive weeks.

Best No. 1 team — 1960.

Russo’s reasoning: Both the 1960 and 2007 teams were No. 1 for one week late in the season, With a chance to win a national championship — or at least play for it — both Tigers teams lost. The 1960 team, which lost 23-7 in its season finale against rival Kansas, gets the close call as the best Missouri No. 1 team over quarterback Chase Daniel’s 2007 squad. Coach Dan Devine’s ‘60 team won five road games, including at No. 20 Penn State and No. 18 Colorado, and dominated its competition until losing to the Jayhawks at home and finished No. 5 in the nation. The ‘07 team lost to Oklahoma twice and finished No. 4.

No. 41 (tie) Boston College (1)

Championships — None.

No. 1 ranking — Nov. 23, 1942.

No. 1 team — 1942.

The Eagles started 8-0 and had allowed only 19 points when they reached No. 1, but the most memorable thing about their stay was probably how it ended. BC was upset 55-12 by a Holy Cross team that was 4-4-1. Boston College also lost to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and the closest the Eagles have been to No. 1 again was No. 2 in 2007 with Matt Ryan at quarterback.

No. 41 (tie) North Carolina (1)

Championships — None.

No. 1 ranking — Oct. 11, 1948.

No. 1 team — 1948.

The Tar Heels opened the season with wins against Texas and Georgia and quickly rose to No. 1, led by halfback Charlie Justice, who was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. Coach Carl Snavely’s team kept winning but still slipped to No. 3 after wins by Notre Dame and Michigan. A 6-6 tie with William & Mary dropped UNC to sixth before finishing No. 4. The Heels ended up losing the Sugar Bowl to Oklahoma 14-6.

No. 41 (tie) Wisconsin (1)

Championships — None.

No. 1 ranking — Oct. 6, 1952.

No. 1 team — 1952.

The Badgers beat No. 2 Illinois 20-6 for their second win of the season and jumped from No. 8 to No. 1 for the only time in school history. The very next week they lost 23-14 at Ohio State. With sophomore running back Alan Ameche, who would go on to win the Heisman in 1954, Wisconsin finished the regular season 6-2-1 and played in the school’s first Rose Bowl. The Badgers lost 7-0 to Southern California.

No. 41 (tie) Arkansas (1)

Championships — None.

No. 1 ranking — Oct. 18, 1965.

No. 1 team — 1965.

The Razorbacks reached No. 1 by beating top-ranked Texas 27-24, but they didn’t stay long even though they kept winning until facing LSU in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas lost 14-7 to finish 10-1 and No. 2 in the country under coach Frank Broyles.

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 1974, file photo, Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes tips his cap as members of the Buckeyes carry him off the field following a 49-7 victory over Illinois in Columbus in 1974.
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_08.05.16.woodyhayes.jpgFILE - In this Nov. 3, 1974, file photo, Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes tips his cap as members of the Buckeyes carry him off the field following a 49-7 victory over Illinois in Columbus in 1974.

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football Writer

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