The Associated Press started ranking college football teams a long time ago.
Its poll of the top teams in the country has been operational since 1936, a time period in which 165 different programs have found their way into its rankings. The AP says 44 teams have been ranked No. 1 overall at one point or another.
Now, the AP’s doing something pretty cool. On Tuesday, it released a data-focused ranking of the top 100 college football teams since its rankings went into practice.
The methodology behind the AP Top 100:
To determine the all-time Top 25, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (one point) to acknowledge elite programs and gave a bonus for AP championships (10 points).
You’re urged to head over there and check out all the rankings for yourself.
Here’s the entire top 25, which stands as one way to evaluate programs by both strength and longevity:
*Alabama's number of points was initially off, and it appears there's some confusion about the point total for either Pitt or Wisconsin, or perhaps both. This is a big project.
The top-25 breakdown by 2016 conference, for those who appreciate such things: eight from the SEC, seven from the Big Ten, four from the ACC, three from the Pac-12, two from the Big 12 and one Notre Dame-sized independent.