The AP poll is the barometer for the college football elite. The rankings measure success, and the AP poll is the standard bearer of how we measure that success.
Eighty years ago Wednesday was the release of the first-ever AP poll. And at the top was Minnesota — currently a middle of the road Big Ten team. Rounding out the Top 5 was No. 4 Northwestern and No. 5 Purdue.
That same 1936 poll also included No. 10 Yale, No. 16 Fordham, No. 17 Holy Cross and No. 25 Marquette, now both in the FCS. Tulane was just behind LSU as the second-best team in the SEC.
The No. 12 St. Mary’s Gaels haven’t had a team since 2004.
For the Golden Gophers, 1936 represented the third-straight National Championship winning season. They outscored their opponents that year 203-32 — including five shutout wins. Their only loss was a 6-0 defeat at No. 3 Northwestern.
At 4-2 with a 1-2 record in the Big Ten, 2016 won’t look the same as 1936. But at least they have the memories.