The long and storied success of the Oklahoma Sooners sets it apart as one of the premier programs in college football. It has been for the better part of a century.
College Football News recently went through each of the Associated Press Top 25 polls since its initial release in 1936 and scored each program based on their finish in the end of season AP Top 25. The Oklahoma Sooners were named the “greatest college football program of all time.”
How did College Football News score each team? “Take all the AP final rankings and use our simple scoring system – the AP national champion in each season gets 25 points, the No. 2 team 24, No. 3 23, and so on down to the bottom.”
So, finishing 25th in the AP Top 25 nets a team one point.
Since the Associated Press Poll was first released in 1936, the Oklahoma Sooners have finished a season inside the AP Top 25 61 times. At the end of the season, the Oklahoma Sooners have only finished outside the AP Top 25 25 times in the 86 year history of the poll.
The Oklahoma Sooners have finished within in the top five of the AP Top 25 33 times since 1936. Alabama, who comes in at No. 2 on College Football News rankings, has finished within the top five 28 times. While the Crimson Tide have more finishes at No. 1 in the poll and have ended the season inside the top 10 one more time than the Sooners, they also have more finishes outside the top 25 (26) than Oklahoma.
Here’s how the top 10 shakes out.
Oklahoma Sooners: 1,136 points
University of Oklahoma football coach Charles “Bud” Wilkinson, left, receives the “Coach of the Year Award for 1949” plaque from Joe Williams, center, executive sports editor of Scripps Howard Newspapers, at the American Football Coaches Association dinner in New York, Jan. 12, 1950. At right is L.R. “Dutch” Meyer, former president of the association. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)
Alabama Crimson Tide: 1,129
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State Buckeyes: 1,119
Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Baron Browning arrives for voluntary workouts on Monday, June 8, 2020 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, players are socially distanced during workouts and only arrive and leave in small groups. Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 1,028
unknown date 1993; South Bend, IN, USA; FILE PHOTO; Notre Dame Irish head coach Lou Holtz leads his team onto the field during the 1993 season at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Photo By USA TODAY Sports © Copyright USA TODAY Sports
Michigan Wolverines: 1,016
Nov 19, 1977; Ann Arbor, MI, USA FILE PHOTO; Michigan Wolverines head coach Bo Schembechler on the sideline against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
USC Trojans: 837
Sep 22, 1973; Atlanta, GA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Southern California Trojans quarterback Pat Haden (10) talks to head coach John McKay during the 1973 season against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Grant Field. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Nebraska Cornhuskers: 798
Oct 1988; Lincoln, NE, USA; FILE PHOTO; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tom Osborne on the sidelines during the 1988 season at Memorial Stadium. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Texas Longhorns: 797
Oct 2, 2010; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown meets with Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops prior to the game at the Cotton Bowl. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Penn State Nittany Lions: 702
Nov 1978; State College, PA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno during the 1978 season at Beaver Stadium. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Vounteers: 686
Oct 10, 2006; Athens, GA, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Phillip Fulmer celebrates with his family after their game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. Tennessee defeated Georgia 51-33. Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Copyright © Paul Abell