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Past Rankings
AP, UPI, USA Today, Harris

1940-1949

| 1936-1939 | 1940-1949 | 1950-1959 |
| 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 |
| 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 |


AP Final Polls
(Began 1936)
UPI Final Polls
(Began 1950)
Harris Final Polls
(Began 2005)
USA Today Final Polls
(Took over from UPI in 1991)

1940
1. Minnesota
2. Stanford
3. Michigan
4. Tennessee
5. Boston College
6. Texas A&M
7. Nebraska
8. Northwestern
9. Mississippi State
10. Washington
11. Santa Clara
12. Fordham
13. Georgetown
14. Pennsylvania
15. Cornell
16. SMU
17. Hardin-Simmons
18. Duke
19. Lafayette
Only 19 teams ranked.
   

1941
1. Minnesota
2. Duke
3. Notre Dame
4. Texas
5. Michigan
6. Fordham
7. Missouri
8. Duquesne
9. Texas A&M
10. Navy
11. Northwestern
12. Oregon State
13. Ohio State
14. Georgia
15. Pennsylvania
16. Mississippi State
17. Mississippi
18. Tennessee
19. Washington St.
20. Alabama
   

1942
1. Ohio State
2. Georgia
3. Wisconsin
4. Tulsa
5. Georgia Tech
6. Notre Dame
7. Tennessee
8. Boston College
9. Michigan
10. Alabama
11. Texas
12. Stanford
13. UCLA
14. William & Mary
15. Santa Clara
16. Auburn
17. Washington St.
18. Mississippi State
19. Minnesota
(tie) Holy Cross
(tie) Penn State
   

1943
1. Notre Dame
2. Iowa Pre-Flight
3. Michigan
4. Navy
5. Purdue
6. Great Lakes
7. Duke
8. Del Monte P-F
9. Northwestern
10. March Field
11. Army
12. Washington
13. Georgia Tech
14. Texas
15. Tulsa
16. Dartmouth
17. Bainbridge NTS
18. Colorado Col.
19. Pacific
20. Pennsylvania
   

1944
1. Army
2. Ohio State
3. Randolph Field
4. Navy
5. Bainbridge NTS
6. Iowa Pre-Flight
7. USC
8. Michigan
9. Notre Dame
10. March Field
11. Duke
12. Tennessee
13. Georgia Tech
(tie) Norman Pre-Flight
15. Illinois
16. El Toro Marines
17. Great Lakes
18. Fort Pierce
19. St. Mary's P-F
20. Sec. Air Force
   

1945
1. Army
2. Alabama
3. Navy
4. Indiana
5. Oklahoma State
6. Michigan
7. St. Mary's (Cal.)
8. Pennsylvania
9. Notre Dame
10. Texas
11. USC
12. Ohio State
13. Duke
14. Tennessee
15. Louisiana State
16. Holy Cross
17. Tulsa
18. Georgia
19. Wake Forest
20. Columbia
   

1946
1. Notre Dame
2. Army
3. Georgia
4. UCLA
5. Illinois
6. Michigan
7. Tennessee
8. Louisiana State
9. North Carolina
10. Rice
11. Georgia Tech
12. Yale
13. Pennsylvania
14. Oklahoma
15. Texas
16. Arkansas
17. Tulsa
18. N. C. State
19. Delaware
20. Indiana
   

1947*
1. Notre Dame
2. Michigan
3. SMU
4. Penn State
5. Texas
6. Alabama
7. Pennsylvania
8. USC
9. North Carolina
10. Georgia Tech
11. Army
12. Kansas
13. Mississippi
14. William & Mary
15. California
16. Oklahoma
17. N. C. State
18. Rice
19. Duke
20. Columbia
*On January 6, 1948, in a special post-season poll after the Rose Bowl, the AP voted Michigan No. 1 and Notre Dame No. 2. However, the postseason poll did not supercede the final regular season poll of December 6, 1947.
   

1948
1. Michigan
2. Notre Dame
3. North Carolina
4. California
5. Oklahoma
6. Army
7. Northwestern
8. Georgia
9. Oregon
10. SMU
11. Clemson
12. Vanderbilt
13. Tulane
14. Michigan State
15. Mississippi
16. Minnesota
17. William & Mary
18. Penn State
19. Cornell
20. Wake Forest
   

1949
1. Notre Dame
2. Oklahoma
3. California
4. Army
5. Rice
6. Ohio State
7. Michigan
8. Minnesota
9. Louisiana State
10. Pacific
11. Kentucky
12. Cornell
13. Villanova
14. Maryland
15. Santa Clara
16. North Carolina
17. Tennessee
18. Princeton
19. Michigan State
20. Missouri
(tie) Baylor