Activities Sports & Athletics All-Time Associated Press National College Football Champions Learn More About How the AP Poll Determines a National Champ Share PINTEREST Email Print Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Football College Football Basics Playing & Coaching Best of Football Plays & Formations Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Tim Hyland Updated November 04, 2019 The winner of the Associated Press (AP) college football championship trophy may no longer be a determining factor in the Bowl Championship Series formula, however, the long-running AP poll carries a lot of weight in the college football world. Awarded annually by the AP, the trophy goes to the team who finishes the season at the number one spot in the AP Poll. That team is named the national college football champion for that season How the Poll Works The AP Poll weekly ranks the top 25 NCAA teams in Division I football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Sixty-five sportswriters and broadcasters from across the nation are polled. Each voter creates a ranking of the top 25 teams. The individual rankings are combined to produce the national ranking by giving a team 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 for a second-place vote, and so on down to 1 point for a twenty-fifth place vote. Voting members ballots are public. History of the AP National Poll The AP college football poll has a long history. In the early 1930s, there was a flurry of news media running polls of their sportswriters to determine who was, by popular opinion, the best football team in the country at the end of the season. For consistency, in 1936, the AP established a poll of sports editors, which then became the standard. For decades, the AP poll was considered the final word on college football rankings and being named the AP’s poll winner meant being that team was the national champion. In 1997, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was developed to pick the two top-ranked teams for a national championship game. For the first several years the AP Poll factored in the determination of the BCS rankings, along with other factors including the Coaches Poll and computer-based polls. In December 2004, due to a series of controversies surrounding the BCS, the AP demanded that BCS stop using its poll for their ranking calculations. The 2004–2005 season was the last season that the AP Poll was used. AP National College Football Champions College Number Year Alabama 10 1961, 1964, 1965, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 Notre Dame 8 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988 Oklahoma 7 1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000 Miami (FL) 5 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001 Ohio State 5 1942, 1954, 1968, 2002, 2014 USC 5 1962, 1967, 1972, 2003, 2004 Minnesota 4 1936, 1940, 1941, 1960 Nebraska 4 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995 Florida 3 1996, 2006, 2008 Florida State 3 1993, 1999, 2013 Texas 3 1963, 1969, 2005 Army 2 1944, 1945 Auburn 2 1957, 2010 Clemson 2 1981, 2016 LSU 2 1958, 2007 Michigan 2 1948, 1997 Penn State 2 1982, 1986 Pittsburgh 2 1937, 1976 Tennessee 2 1951, 1998 BYU 1 1984 Colorado 1 1990 Georgia 1 1980 Maryland 1 1953 Michigan State 1 1952 Syracuse 1 1959 TCU 1 1938 Texas A&M 1 1939 Complete List of College Football National Championship Teams 10 Winningest Bowl Teams of All Time College Football's Oldest Rivalry and Oldest Teams Ohio State's SEC Struggles Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks Through the Years Learn the Format of the NCAA Division 1 College World Series Randy Moss NFL Champions (1920–Present) Hockey History: The Time Line, 1917-1945 Top Women in Basketball History National Finals Rodeo Annual Prize Money Tops $10 Million Super Bowl's Youngest and Oldest 24 Champion Golfers Who Died Tragic, Early Deaths LPGA Founders: The 13 Women Who Created the LPGA The 10 Most Famous Pro Athletes Named Michael What Is the Charles Schwab Cup?