Alabama Ranked as 4th Best College Football Program by Associated Press
On Wednesday, the Associated Press released its Top 100 football programs in history, and coming in at number four on the list is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Depending on who you talk to, the best college football program in history could be a multitude of schools: Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, and the list goes on and on. According to the A.P., the Buckeyes of Ohio State are the best team in the history of this great sport.
The formula that was used is quite simple: for each Associated Press poll that a team was a part of, they received one point; for each time a team reached #1 in the Associated Press poll, they received an additional two points; and for each Associated Press national championship a team won, they received 10 points.
One may feel like this is a slight to the Crimson Tide's rich history, but this poll is an accumulation of an arbitrary point system since the Associated Press began producing its own rankings in 1936. Championships should be weighted more than a team simply being ranked number one during the season, and they are to an extent. A team that wins an A.P. national championship receives 10 points, which sounds fair on the surface, but is winning a championship a better feat of success than winning during the regular season?
For instance, let's say that Oklahoma stays at #1 in the A.P. poll all season during an arbitrary season (12 weeks), but they don't win the national championship. That means that they would receive one point for each week they appear in the poll (12) and two points for each week being number one (24).
Now, let's take another arbitrary team in the same imaginary season as the previous Oklahoma example, like Alabama. Let's say that Alabama doesn't reach #1 in the A.P. poll at all during the season, because Oklahoma achieved that feat. However, they do appear at #2 in the poll all twelve weeks of the season to give them 12 points in this system. Now let's say Alabama defeats Oklahoma in the national championship game, granting the Tide 10 more points.
At this point, Alabama would have 22 total points for that season and Oklahoma would have 36, even though Alabama's season was identical to Oklahoma's season, but they won the imaginary national championship.
On the other side, Alabama has 10 A.P. national championships, granting them 100 points in that department, and Ohio State has only five, giving them 50 points. However, the Buckeyes have been ranked number one 105 times, for a grand total of 210 points, while the Tide have only been ranked number one 74 times, for 148 points. Just combining these numbers, Ohio State leads Alabama 260-248.
Point being is that this point system to determine the best team in college football history wasn't made to slight Alabama, but it isn't perfect. Like the A.P. piece states, Ohio State has been ranked in the A.P. poll in all but three of their seasons of existence. That's pretty much the biggest reason this algorithm ranked the Buckeyes, Sooners, and Fighting Irish ahead of Alabama.