The AP rolled out a fun list of their top 100 college basketball programs of all-time yesterday and Notre Dame found itself firmly in the top 25 at #18. The Irish come in one spot ahead of Villanova and one spot below Maryland.
Here is the methodology they used:
To determine the all-time Top 100, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point each) to mark consistency and No. 1 rankings (two points each) to acknowledge elite programs. Keep in mind that AP doesn’t release a poll after the NCAA Tournament, so eventual national champions are not factored into these rankings. Instead, this list focuses more on those programs that consistently appear in the poll and/or at the top during the regular seasons.
Notre Dame’s best and worst decades shouldn’t surprise anyone. The AP listed the glory days of 1970’s when Notre Dame appeared in 72.6% of the polls as its best decade and the dark days of the 1990’s when Notre Dame appeared in two polls. Total. In an entire freaking decade. That stat kind of makes one appreciate Mike Brey just a little bit more.
Because of some lean years in the beginning of the 2010’s, that best decade distinction is probably safe baring a really remarkable run here over the final few years of the decade by Brey and company.
One interesting note the AP listed, however, was that of all of the top 25 teams in this poll, Notre Dame has the longest drought for a season where they have been ranked wire to wire. The last time Notre Dame spent every week of the season in the AP Poll was 1985-86. This season Notre Dame started the year off unranked and didn’t find their way into the top 25 until the 5th poll of the season. The Irish also temporarily fell out of the rankings following their mid-season funk before landing at #14 in the final AP rankings of the season.
Assuming Bonzie Colson comes back next season as most expect, could Notre Dame change that statistic next season? Even with the pending transfer of Matt Ryan, Notre Dame would have a core of Colson and Matt Farrell assuming their big man doesn’t leave for the NBA along with a good complimentary cast. If Notre Dame starts the season ranked, there will be a good chance for them to change that next year.
Just a couple other things that stood out.
- Louisville has only been ranked #1 by the AP two times in their history. Since the poll doesn’t come out following the NCAA Tournament that doesn’t take into account championships but that is still a surprising statistic.
- Purdue has never been ranked #1 and comes in ranked six spots below the Irish at #24.
- The old Big East is well represented in the poll with Syracuse (#9), Cincinnati (#10), Georgetown (#15), UConn (#16), Villanova (#19), and Marquette (#21).