The Associated Press Poll compiles the rankings of college football broadcasters and writers into a consensus ranking of the top 25 teams in the country. The poll is retaken on a weekly basis throughout the college football season.
The standings are based on a points system that translates each voter's rankings numerically. If a team receives a first-place vote on a ballot, the team receives 25 points. If a team receives a second-place vote, it receives 24 points. On the other side of the spectrum, a 25th-place vote awards one point and a 24th-place vote awards two points. Then, a consensus ranking is compiled by adding the point totals for each team.
As of 2015, the AP Poll takes ballots from 61 voters. Some voters include Adam Zucker from the CBS Sports Network, Brett McMurphy from ESPN, Matt McCoy from WTVN-AM in Columbus, Ohio, Gary Horowitz from "Statesman Journal" in Salem, Oregon, and Laura Keeley from "The News & Observer" in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Associated Press began polling national and local sportswriters in 1936. For many years, the Associated Press poll was the principal authority that designated a season's national champion. In later years, the poll became a factor considered by other selection processes, such as the Bowl Championship Series and the College Football Playoff Committee.