College football’s poll of historical record – the AP Poll – will be released Saturday. Here are some historical notes and trends to look for in conjunction with the release of the preseason poll.
• There has never been a unanimous No. 1 in the preseason AP Poll. Since 1990, five teams garnered at least 50 first place votes in the preseason poll. None would go on to win the title, and in this same situation in 2010, Alabama finished with three losses.
AP Preseason Number One; BCS Era
• Based on the preseason coaches' poll, the AP Top 10 could be comprised of teams which finished 2012 in the Top 13. The last time the AP Preseason Top 10 came from the Top 13 of the previous seasons final poll was 1992 - that year, preseason No. 9 - Alabama won the title.
• Preseason No. 1 hasn't guaranteed a top-five finish lately. Four times in the last five years the preseason AP No. 1 team has finished 10th or worse, among the teams a three-loss Alabama team in 2010.
• In the previous ten years, preseason No. 1 finished in the Top 3 nine times, and never worse than 8th. The last preseason AP No. 1 to finish the year ranked first was USC in 2004
• Since 1976, only five teams that were ranked preseason number one finished the year ranked number one in the AP Poll, the last being USC in 2004.
• In the BCS era, only one time (2001) has there been an instance where every team ranked in the preseason Top 10 was ranked at the end of the season. Last year, preseason No. 1 USC disappointed and finished the season unranked. In 15 years, a total of 29 teams have ended the year unranked after beginning the season in the AP Top 10. Of those 29 teams, Nine were ranked as Top-4 teams..
• An SEC team (Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU) has been No. 1 in 54 of the last 71 AP polls. In the previous 71 polls there were seven weeks where an SEC team was number one. USC was ranked No. 1 in 37 of those 71 polls.
If Oregon and Stanford are both in the preseason top five, it would mark the second straight year the Pac-12 has had two teams ranked in the preseason top five (last year was the first time in conference history that happened - USC, Oregon)
• In the last 20 years, only once - 2011 - a team which wasn't ranked in the preseason finished in the Top 10. Last year there were two - Notre Dame and Texas A&M. The Aggies received a total of five points in the 2012 preseason poll, while the Irish were first among those receiving votes.
In 2011, USC was ranked 25th the preseason, so we nearly have 20 straight years of this happening. In fact, in the BCS era, 13 teams - almost one per year - have been ranked in the final AP Top 10 after receiving fewer than 10 points in the preseason poll. Seven of the 13 received no votes or one vote.
Prior to 2011, the last time every team in the final AP Top 10 was ranked in the preseason was 1992. Who will be this year's Cinderella?
• Alabama (33) and Oregon (29) have the longest active streaks of being ranked in the top ten.
• No team in the history of the 25-team AP Poll (since 1989) has gone from preseason No. 1 to unranked in the following preseason. Two teams have gone from preseason No. 1 to unranked the following preseason in polls which ranked at least 20 teams - 1983 Pittsburgh (No. 1 in 1982 preseason) and 1960 LSU (No. 1 in 1959 preseason).
• The last preseason No. 1 to be ranked outside the Top 10 the following preseason was Penn State in 1998 (No. 1 in 1997, No. 13 in 1998).
• Stanford has three preseason Top 10 appearances - 1950 (No. 7), 1970 (No. 10) and 2011 (No. 7). This should be its highest preseason rank in school history.
• It has been 94 weeks since Louisville appeared in the AP Top 10. Among teams which have been in the Top 10 more recently - Hawaii, Boston College, Kansas, South Florida and Cal. Those five teams combined to go 12-48 last year, with none winning more than three games. Louisville's highest preseason rank in history is 10th in 2000. It finished that season unranked.