The Associated Press just released its 2014 rankings of the top college football programs in the country, and for the first time in a long while, the poll won’t have any impact on which teams are eligible for bowl game consideration. (Previously, while the AP poll was never factored into which teams made it into the bowl games, the list’s influence undoubtedly played a role.)
This is probably a good thing, but it does make evaluating the impact of the venerable poll — started in 1950, the AP poll is now a weekly list, with votes contributed by 60 sportswriters and other football-focused thinkers — a little more nebulous. While it won’t be indirectly tied to the BCS anymore, since the BCS is dead and replaced by the College Football Playoff, it would be foolish to consider this list inconsequential, since it remains one of the biggest talking points in the NCAA’s version of football, actual impact or not.
Here, then, are the seven most elite teams in CFB, as determined by those in the know. A note on the scoring: Each team is given a point allocation for each place they receive — 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 points for second, and so on, as each ballot is allocated 25 slots with a decreasing amount of points.