Only One College Football Program Has Been Ranked In The Preseason AP Poll Every Year During The BCS Era

College Spun/Ricky Darling

College football is one of the few sports in which preseason rankings actually matter in determining our national champion. The higher your team starts in the polls, the easier it’ll be to stay near the top. And while it may be frustrating to the average fan, most of us have come to terms with the way the system works. 

While compiling data for our post about the most overrated college football teams in the BCS era, we noticed that there is only one school that has been ranked in every preseason AP Poll since 1998. That program? Ohio State.

The data:

Year Preseason Ranking: Final Ranking:
1998 No. 1 No. 2
1999 No. 9 Not Ranked
2000 No. 16 Not Ranked
2001 No. 23 Not Ranked
2002 No. 13 No. 1
2003 No. 2 No. 4
2004 No. 9 No. 20
2005 No. 6 No. 4
2006 No. 1 No. 2
2007 No. 11 No. 5
2008 No. 2 No. 9
2009 No. 6 No. 5
2010 No. 2 No. 5
2011 No. 18 Not Ranked
2012 No. 18 No. 3
2013 No. 2


That’s right – 10 of the 16 years during the BCS era, Ohio State has been ranked in the top ten of the AP Poll to start the season. Also ten times, the Buckeyes have been ranked in the top ten at the end of the season – arguably even more impressive. Even after down years in which the program failed to live up to expectations, voters put the Bucks back in the poll the next year. 

This means that the Buckeyes will be the only team to be ranked in the preseason AP Poll every year during the BCS era, which comes to a close after the 2013 season.


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Matt is a Co-Founder at College Spun. He can be reached at [email protected]