Georgia Tech 26th in all-time AP poll rankings

In the all-time Associated Press rankings, Georgia Tech leads off the “also receiving votes” contingent.

In advance of the 81st season that has been measured by an AP poll, the Associated Press tabulated the results of the first 80 years of polls. By their formula, the Yellow Jackets were 26th, between No. 25 Iowa and No. 27 Colorado.

Four current members of the ACC were ahead of Tech –Florida State at No. 9, Miami at No. 13, Clemson at No. 22 and Pittsburgh at No. 23.

Also in the top 100 – No. 31 Virginia Tech, No. 38 North Carolina, No. 41 Syracuse, No. 52 Virginia, No. 53 Duke, No. 56 N.C. State, No. 57 Boston College, No. 62 Louisville and No. 80 Wake Forest. (Former members Maryland and South Carolina were 40th and 48th, respectively.)

In the formula, teams were given one point for being in the poll in any given week, two points for reaching No. 1 and 10 points for an AP championship. (None of Tech’s championships were awarded by the AP.)

According to, Tech has appeared in 27.8 percent of all polls, 25th overall. Tech has never been No. 1 in any AP poll, but has been No. 2 13 times, most recently in the final 1990 poll (when the Jackets were awarded the UPI coaches championship). Its longest streak of consecutive appearances in the poll is 34, from 1951 to 1954.

For the purposes of this poll, Tech’s misfortune is that some of its greatest successes occurred before the advent of the poll. Still, based on Tech’s glory years in the 50’s – the Jackets were ranked at some point of every season from 1951 to 1966, coach Bobby Dodd’s final season – I figured Tech might be a little higher. But it feels about right, particularly considering that, as noted above, that the first third of the 20th century is not included, when John Heisman and William Alexander were running roughshod over the competition.

Tech’s neighbors – Pitt, Wisconsin and Iowa are immediately above, Colorado, Oregon and Mississippi are directly below – are schools that, like Tech, have seen their fortunes rise and fall, with periods as consistent powers and other stretches of being further back in the pack.

Given Colorado’s wretched record in recent seasons, the Buffaloes seem a little out of place, but they’ve been in 27 percent of the polls, almost the same as Tech. They were a consistent power, you’ll remember through the 90’s (including 1990, when they won the AP title opposite Tech).

Oregon was in at least one poll in 16 of the poll’s first 58 season, but has been in the rankings in 21 of the past 22 seasons. The Ducks have been No. 1 eight weeks and No. 2 28 times.

Overall, Tech has been more consistent, but went through an extended dry spell in the 70’s sand 80’s. Starting in the 40’s, Tech was in at least one poll in six seasons in the 40’s, nine in the 50’s, seven in the 60’s, seven in the 90’s, seven in the 2000’s and four in the first six years of the current decade.

But there were just four years with appearances in the 70’s and two in the 80’s, a period covering Tech’s largely unsuccessful run as an independent and its joining the ACC.

More than you wanted to know, perhaps.

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About the Author

Ken Sugiura
Ken Sugiura
Ken Sugiura covers Georgia Tech sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.