Oklahoma Football No. 2 in Associated Press All-Time Top 100

Nov 28, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners before the start of a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners before the start of a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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August is the month that things really begin to ramp up in preparation for the coming college football season. It is also the month that the Associated Press releases its initial Top-25 poll of the coming season. For the 2016 edition of Oklahoma football, that is likely to mean a top-five national ranking to start the new season.

Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A member of the Oklahoma Sooners Ruf Neks waves a flag in the second quarter of the 2015 CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A member of the Oklahoma Sooners Ruf Neks waves a flag in the second quarter of the 2015 CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Fortunately for fans old and new of Oklahoma Sooner football, appearances in the AP Top 25 college football poll have become almost as natural as striking up the band every football Saturday. The Sooners have been a regular in the weekly AP Top-25 poll for the better part of the past seven decades.

The 2016 season marks the 80th year of the AP poll, which began in 1936, with the Minnesota Gophers ranked No. 1 in the very first AP college football poll.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of its college football rankings, the AP has published its All-Time Top 25, and the seven-time national champion Oklahoma Sooners rank No. 2 on that all-time list – a well-deserved tribute to undeniably one of the most successful programs of the past 60-plus years in college football.

No. 1 on the AP All-Time Top 25 is Ohio State, which the AP editors contend failed to rank among the top 25 teams in the country in just three seasons in the 80-year history of the AP poll.

This adds one more compelling story line to the Sept. 17 matchup this season between the Sooners and the Buckeyes: the battle between No. 1 and No. 2 on the AP All-Time Top 25. or perhaps the Game of Eight Decades. Anything you want to call it, that Sept. game in Norman could easily be the marquee game of the season.

Oct 3, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners mascots celebrate after a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners mascots celebrate after a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

Ralph Russo, AP college football writer, says the three primary factors used in determining the all-time college football ranking were consistency, domination and excellence. Points were awarded for the number of poll appearances, total appearances ranked No. 1 and bonus points for the number of AP national championships.

Oklahoma first appeared in the AP Top 25 poll in 1938. The Sooners were 10-1 that year under head coach Tom Stidham, who was in his second of four seasons at OU, and captured their first Big Six championship.

The Sooners have been ranked in 784 of the 1,103 polls in the 80 years that the AP has been conducting its college football poll. That comes out to 71 percent of all of the polls. Oklahoma has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll 100 1/2 times, second most of all teams that have appeared in the poll.

Oklahoma struck gold in all three of the key measurement factors, finishing in the top five of poll appearances in each of five different decades (1950s, ’70s, ’80s, 2000, ’10), the only school that can make that claim.

The Sooners best decade for AP poll appearances was in the 1950s, during which Bud Wilkinson’s record-setting teams won three national championships. Between 1950 and 1959, Oklahoma appeared in 95 percent of all of the AP polls during that decade. The Sooners appeared the least in the AP rankings in the decade of the 1960s (29 percent of all polls in that 10-year period).

Only one other current Big 12 school (Texas at No. 8) was ranked in the AP All-Time Top 25. Two former Big 12 schools, Nebraska and Texas A&M, were ranked No. 6 and No. 18, respectively. The SEC was the big winner among teams ranked in the All-Time Top 25, placing eight team in the top 25. The Big Ten was second among the Power Five conferences, with seven teams ranked in the top 25.

The Associated Press All-Time College Football Top 25

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes (1,112 points)
  2. Oklahoma Sooners (1,055)
  3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1,042)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide (993)
  5. Southern California Trojans (974)
  6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (901)
  7. Michigan Wolverines (894)
  8. Texas Longhorns (822)
  9. Florida State Seminoles (714)
  10. Florida Gators (674)
  11. LSU Tigers (655)
  12. Penn State Nittany Lions (647)
  13. Miami Hurricanes (642)
  14. Tennessee Volunteers (624)
  15. Georgia Bulldogs (572)
  16. Auburn Tigers (570)
  17. UCLA Bruins (535)
  18. Texas A&M Aggies (477)
  19. Michigan State Spartans (443)
  20. Washington Huskies (430)
  21. Arkansas Razorbacks (412)
  22. Clemson Tigers (411)
  23. Pittsburgh Panthers (356)
  24. Wisconsin Badgers (336)
  25. Iowa Hawkeyes (329)