In the long history of the Associated Press Top 25 college football poll — which now spans 87 seasons — only one school (Alabama) has been ranked in the top five more often than the Oklahoma football team.
Since 1936, when the first AP college-football poll was issued, the Sooners have begun the season as a top-25 team 63 times and ended the season as ranked team 57 times. It should be noted, however, that the Associated Press did not introduce a preseason college football poll until 1950.
Suffice it to say that Oklahoma has been a regular fixture in the nation’s top 25 the majority of years the AP poll, whose voters consist of media representatives who regularly cover college football, has been in existence.
This past season, the Sooners, in their first year under new head coach Brent Venables, began the season at No. 7 in the preseason AP Top 25. After the fifth week of the season and back-to-back blowout losses to TCU and Texas, however, Oklahoma was out of the top 25 and did not return the remainder of the season.
Since 2000, an Oklahoma football team has finished outside the rankings at season’s end just four times, including this past season.
The past couple of years, College Football News has produced an all-time ranking of teams that have appeared in the AP poll over the years and ended the season as one of the top-25 teams in the country. The formula the CFN staffers have used is fairly simple: Going back to the very first season of the AP poll in 1936, the national champion at the end of the season is awarded 25 points, the No. 2 team 24 points and so forth.
Up until the past couple of years, no college team had been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll for more weeks than the Oklahoma Sooners. Because of that, Oklahoma has been a solid No. 1 in the all-time AP poll formula throughout the first two decades of the 2000s. This year, however, with the Sooners falling completely out of the final rankings, OU dropped down to the No. 3 spot with both Ohio State and Alabama jumping over the Crimson and Cream in the all-time AP poll rankings.
The Sooners trail Alabama by 14 points (1150 to 1136) but are only five points back of Ohio State.