The Associated Press has released its college football rankings every year since the 1936 season. Below is a year-by-year history of the college football AP poll, compiled from the NCAA record book.

Clickable timeline:


1936 — The Associated Press Poll began with sports editors of AP newspapers voting for the top 20 teams nationally. Minnesota and Northwestern each had 7-1 records and, even though Northwestern whipped the Golden Gophers in the regular season, Minnesota was named No. 1 in the final poll.

1937 — California began with a 5-0 record and was ranked No. 1 in the first three polls, but Jock Sutherland’s Pittsburgh Panthers took over the lead in November and finished 9-0-1 and No. 1.

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1938 — Previous year’s AP leader Pittsburgh was ranked No. 1 to begin the season, but Dutch Meyer’s TCU Horned Frogs, behind legendary QB Davey O’Brien, posted an undefeated 10-0 regular season for the poll championship.

1939 — Pittsburgh and Tennessee, two powerhouses, exchanged the No. 1 spot in the poll until Homer Norton’s Texas A&M Aggies, behind big fullback John Kimbrough, took over the top spot late and finished 10-0 in the regular season for the mythical AP title.