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1964 College Football Season Summary

1964 NCAA University Division football season

The NCAA was without a playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A, during the 20th century. The NCAA recognizes Division I-A national champions based on the final results of polls including the "wire service" (AP and UPI), FWAA and NFF. The 1964 AP poll continued to rank only ten teams, compiling the votes of 55 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. In the preseason poll, Mississippi (Ole Miss Rebels) was first with 425 points and the Oklahoma Sooners second with 400 points. As the regular season progressed, an updated poll was issued on Mondays; and the "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular.The Associated Press presented the AP Trophy to the Alabama Crimson Tide due to their 10–0 regular season record and their #1 finish in the AP poll. The Arkansas Razorbacks also had a 10–0 regular season in 1964, but finished #2 in the final AP poll. On New Year's Day, the Crimson Tide lost to #5 Texas Longhorns 21–17 in the Orange Bowl to finish the season with a 10–1 record. Arkansas had beaten the defending national champions, then #1, at Austin in October, and finished its season undefeated, 11–0, with a 10–7 win over seventh-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Cotton Bowl. Since there were no further polls, Alabama's national championship was unaffected, despite Arkansas' undefeated, untied season and its win over the common opponent. The UPI Poll in 1964 also named its national champion before the bowl games were played. However, Arkansas was named national champion by the Football Writers Association of America. After a one-year trial run in 1965, the AP Poll began its current practice of naming their national champion at the conclusion of the bowl games in 1968. The UPI Poll followed suit in 1974, after its choice for national champions in each of 1965, 1970, and 1973 lost their respective bowl games.

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