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1981 Polls

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National Champion: Clemson (AP, FWAA, NFF, UPI)

Heisman Memorial Trophy: Marcus Allen (Southern California)
FWAA Coach of the Year Award: Danny Ford (Clemson)

AP Preseason #1: Michigan ▪ AP Final #1: Clemson

AP Polls

Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
1 Preseason 1 Michigan NA Big Ten
1 Preseason 2 Oklahoma NA Big 8
1 Preseason 3 Notre Dame NA Ind
1 Preseason 4 Alabama NA SEC
1 Preseason 5 Southern California NA Pac-10
1 Preseason 6 Nebraska NA Big 8
1 Preseason 7 Penn State NA Ind
1 Preseason 8 Pittsburgh NA Ind
1 Preseason 9 Texas NA SWC
1 Preseason 10 Georgia NA SEC
1 Preseason 11 Ohio State NA Big Ten
1 Preseason 12 North Carolina NA ACC
1 Preseason 13 UCLA NA Pac-10
1 Preseason 14 Mississippi State NA SEC
1 Preseason 15 Washington NA Pac-10
1 Preseason 16 Brigham Young NA WAC
1 Preseason 17 Florida NA SEC
1 Preseason 18 Stanford NA Pac-10
1 Preseason 19 Florida State NA Ind
1 Preseason 20 Arizona State NA Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
2 1981-09-07 1 Michigan 1 NC Big Ten
2 1981-09-07 2 Alabama 4 Up 2 SEC
2 1981-09-07 3 Oklahoma 2 Down 1 Big 8
2 1981-09-07 4 Notre Dame 3 Down 1 Ind
2 1981-09-07 5 Southern California 5 NC Pac-10
2 1981-09-07 6 Georgia 10 Up 4 SEC
2 1981-09-07 7 Nebraska 6 Down 1 Big 8
2 1981-09-07 8 Texas 9 Up 1 SWC
2 1981-09-07 9 Penn State 7 Down 2 Ind
2 1981-09-07 10 Pittsburgh 8 Down 2 Ind
2 1981-09-07 11 Ohio State 11 NC Big Ten
2 1981-09-07 12 UCLA 13 Up 1 Pac-10
2 1981-09-07 13 North Carolina 12 Down 1 ACC
2 1981-09-07 14 Mississippi State 14 NC SEC
2 1981-09-07 15 Brigham Young 16 Up 1 WAC
2 1981-09-07 16 Miami (FL) Up  Ind
2 1981-09-07 17 Washington 15 Down 2 Pac-10
2 1981-09-07 18 Florida State 19 Up 1 Ind
2 1981-09-07 19 Stanford 18 Down 1 Pac-10
2 1981-09-07 20 Arizona State 20 NC Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
3 1981-09-14 1 Notre Dame 4 Up 3 Ind
3 1981-09-14 2 Southern California 5 Up 3 Pac-10
3 1981-09-14 3 Oklahoma 3 NC Big 8
3 1981-09-14 4 Georgia 6 Up 2 SEC
3 1981-09-14 5 Penn State 9 Up 4 Ind
3 1981-09-14 6 Texas 8 Up 2 SWC
3 1981-09-14 7 Pittsburgh 10 Up 3 Ind
3 1981-09-14 8 Ohio State 11 Up 3 Big Ten
3 1981-09-14 9 UCLA 12 Up 3 Pac-10
3 1981-09-14 10 North Carolina 13 Up 3 ACC
3 1981-09-14 11 Michigan 1 Down 10 Big Ten
3 1981-09-14 12 Alabama 2 Down 10 SEC
3 1981-09-14 13 Brigham Young 15 Up 2 WAC
3 1981-09-14 14 Mississippi State 14 NC SEC
3 1981-09-14 15 Washington 17 Up 2 Pac-10
3 1981-09-14 16 Miami (FL) 16 NC Ind
3 1981-09-14 17 Nebraska 7 Down 10 Big 8
3 1981-09-14 18 Arizona State 20 Up 2 Pac-10
3 1981-09-14 19 Florida State 18 Down 1 Ind
3 1981-09-14 20 Wisconsin Up  Big Ten
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
4 1981-09-21 1 Southern California 2 Up 1 Pac-10
4 1981-09-21 2 Oklahoma 3 Up 1 Big 8
4 1981-09-21 3 Penn State 5 Up 2 Ind
4 1981-09-21 4 Texas 6 Up 2 SWC
4 1981-09-21 5 Pittsburgh 7 Up 2 Ind
4 1981-09-21 6 UCLA 9 Up 3 Pac-10
4 1981-09-21 7 Michigan 11 Up 4 Big Ten
4 1981-09-21 8 Ohio State 8 NC Big Ten
4 1981-09-21 9 North Carolina 10 Up 1 ACC
4 1981-09-21 10 Alabama 12 Up 2 SEC
4 1981-09-21 11 Brigham Young 13 Up 2 WAC
4 1981-09-21 12 Mississippi State 14 Up 2 SEC
4 1981-09-21 13 Notre Dame 1 Down 12 Ind
4 1981-09-21 14 Miami (FL) 16 Up 2 Ind
4 1981-09-21 15 Nebraska 17 Up 2 Big 8
4 1981-09-21 16 Washington 15 Down 1 Pac-10
4 1981-09-21 17 Georgia 4 Down 13 SEC
4 1981-09-21 18 Arizona State 18 NC Pac-10
4 1981-09-21 19 Clemson Up  ACC
4 1981-09-21 20 Southern Methodist Up  SWC
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
5 1981-09-28 1 Southern California 1 NC Pac-10
5 1981-09-28 2 Penn State 3 Up 1 Ind
5 1981-09-28 3 Texas 4 Up 1 SWC
5 1981-09-28 4 Pittsburgh 5 Up 1 Ind
5 1981-09-28 5 Oklahoma 2 Down 3 Big 8
5 1981-09-28 6 North Carolina 9 Up 3 ACC
5 1981-09-28 7 Ohio State 8 Up 1 Big Ten
5 1981-09-28 8 Michigan 7 Down 1 Big Ten
5 1981-09-28 9 Mississippi State 12 Up 3 SEC
5 1981-09-28 10 Brigham Young 11 Up 1 WAC
5 1981-09-28 11 Alabama 10 Down 1 SEC
5 1981-09-28 12 Washington 16 Up 4 Pac-10
5 1981-09-28 13 Georgia 17 Up 4 SEC
5 1981-09-28 14 Clemson 19 Up 5 ACC
5 1981-09-28 15 Southern Methodist 20 Up 5 SWC
5 1981-09-28 16 UCLA 6 Down 10 Pac-10
5 1981-09-28 17 Miami (FL) 14 Down 3 Ind
5 1981-09-28 18 Iowa Up  Big Ten
5 1981-09-28 19 Arkansas Up  SWC
5 1981-09-28 20 Iowa State Up  Big 8
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
6 1981-10-05 1 Southern California 1 NC Pac-10
6 1981-10-05 2 Penn State 2 NC Ind
6 1981-10-05 3 Texas 3 NC SWC
6 1981-10-05 4 Pittsburgh 4 NC Ind
6 1981-10-05 5 North Carolina 6 Up 1 ACC
6 1981-10-05 6 Michigan 8 Up 2 Big Ten
6 1981-10-05 7 Alabama 11 Up 4 SEC
6 1981-10-05 8 Brigham Young 10 Up 2 WAC
6 1981-10-05 9 Clemson 14 Up 5 ACC
6 1981-10-05 10 Oklahoma 5 Down 5 Big 8
6 1981-10-05 11 Georgia 13 Up 2 SEC
6 1981-10-05 12 Iowa State 20 Up 8 Big 8
6 1981-10-05 13 Missouri Up  Big 8
6 1981-10-05 14 Southern Methodist 15 Up 1 SWC
6 1981-10-05 15 Iowa 18 Up 3 Big Ten
6 1981-10-05 16 Miami (FL) 17 Up 1 Ind
6 1981-10-05 17 UCLA 16 Down 1 Pac-10
6 1981-10-05 18 Ohio State 7 Down 11 Big Ten
6 1981-10-05 19 Mississippi State 9 Down 10 SEC
6 1981-10-05 20 Florida State Up  Ind
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
7 1981-10-12 1 Texas 3 Up 2 SWC
7 1981-10-12 2 Penn State 2 NC Ind
7 1981-10-12 3 Pittsburgh 4 Up 1 Ind
7 1981-10-12 4 North Carolina 5 Up 1 ACC
7 1981-10-12 5 Michigan 6 Up 1 Big Ten
7 1981-10-12 6 Clemson 9 Up 3 ACC
7 1981-10-12 7 Southern California 1 Down 6 Pac-10
7 1981-10-12 8 Missouri 13 Up 5 Big 8
7 1981-10-12 9 Georgia 11 Up 2 SEC
7 1981-10-12 10 Southern Methodist 14 Up 4 SWC
7 1981-10-12 11 Florida State 20 Up 9 Ind
7 1981-10-12 12 Iowa 15 Up 3 Big Ten
7 1981-10-12 13 Miami (FL) 16 Up 3 Ind
7 1981-10-12 14 Wisconsin Up  Big Ten
7 1981-10-12 15 Alabama 7 Down 8 SEC
7 1981-10-12 16 Mississippi State 19 Up 3 SEC
7 1981-10-12 17 Brigham Young 8 Down 9 WAC
7 1981-10-12 18 Washington State Up  Pac-10
7 1981-10-12 19 Nebraska Up  Big 8
7 1981-10-12 20 Arizona State Up  Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
8 1981-10-19 1 Penn State 2 Up 1 Ind
8 1981-10-19 2 Pittsburgh 3 Up 1 Ind
8 1981-10-19 3 North Carolina 4 Up 1 ACC
8 1981-10-19 4 Clemson 6 Up 2 ACC
8 1981-10-19 5 Southern California 7 Up 2 Pac-10
8 1981-10-19 6 Iowa 12 Up 6 Big Ten
8 1981-10-19 7 Georgia 9 Up 2 SEC
8 1981-10-19 8 Southern Methodist 10 Up 2 SWC
8 1981-10-19 9 Mississippi State 16 Up 7 SEC
8 1981-10-19 10 Texas 1 Down 9 SWC
8 1981-10-19 11 Alabama 15 Up 4 SEC
8 1981-10-19 12 Arkansas Up  SWC
8 1981-10-19 13 Brigham Young 17 Up 4 WAC
8 1981-10-19 14 Iowa State Up  Big 8
8 1981-10-19 15 Nebraska 19 Up 4 Big 8
8 1981-10-19 16 Washington State 18 Up 2 Pac-10
8 1981-10-19 17 Arizona State 20 Up 3 Pac-10
8 1981-10-19 18 Michigan 5 Down 13 Big Ten
8 1981-10-19 19 Missouri 8 Down 11 Big 8
8 1981-10-19 20 Florida State 11 Down 9 Ind
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
9 1981-10-26 1 Penn State 1 NC Ind
9 1981-10-26 2 Pittsburgh 2 NC Ind
9 1981-10-26 3 Clemson 4 Up 1 ACC
9 1981-10-26 4 Southern California 5 Up 1 Pac-10
9 1981-10-26 5 Georgia 7 Up 2 SEC
9 1981-10-26 6 Texas 10 Up 4 SWC
9 1981-10-26 7 Mississippi State 9 Up 2 SEC
9 1981-10-26 8 Alabama 11 Up 3 SEC
9 1981-10-26 9 North Carolina 3 Down 6 ACC
9 1981-10-26 10 Arizona State 17 Up 7 Pac-10
9 1981-10-26 11 Iowa State 14 Up 3 Big 8
9 1981-10-26 12 Nebraska 15 Up 3 Big 8
9 1981-10-26 13 Southern Methodist 8 Down 5 SWC
9 1981-10-26 14 Washington State 16 Up 2 Pac-10
9 1981-10-26 15 Michigan 18 Up 3 Big Ten
9 1981-10-26 16 Iowa 6 Down 10 Big Ten
9 1981-10-26 17 Florida State 20 Up 3 Ind
9 1981-10-26 18 Washington Up  Pac-10
9 1981-10-26 19 Oklahoma Up  Big 8
9 1981-10-26 20 Arkansas 12 Down 8 SWC
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
10 1981-11-02 1 Pittsburgh 2 Up 1 Ind
10 1981-11-02 2 Clemson 3 Up 1 ACC
10 1981-11-02 3 Southern California 4 Up 1 Pac-10
10 1981-11-02 4 Georgia 5 Up 1 SEC
10 1981-11-02 5 Texas 6 Up 1 SWC
10 1981-11-02 6 Penn State 1 Down 5 Ind
10 1981-11-02 7 Alabama 8 Up 1 SEC
10 1981-11-02 8 North Carolina 9 Up 1 ACC
10 1981-11-02 9 Arizona State 10 Up 1 Pac-10
10 1981-11-02 10 Southern Methodist 13 Up 3 SWC
10 1981-11-02 11 Nebraska 12 Up 1 Big 8
10 1981-11-02 12 Michigan 15 Up 3 Big Ten
10 1981-11-02 13 Miami (FL) Up  Ind
10 1981-11-02 14 Florida State 17 Up 3 Ind
10 1981-11-02 15 Mississippi State 7 Down 8 SEC
10 1981-11-02 16 Washington 18 Up 2 Pac-10
10 1981-11-02 17 Oklahoma 19 Up 2 Big 8
10 1981-11-02 18 Ohio State Up  Big Ten
10 1981-11-02 19 Arkansas 20 Up 1 SWC
10 1981-11-02 20 Southern Mississippi Up  Ind
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
11 1981-11-09 1 Pittsburgh 1 NC Ind
11 1981-11-09 2 Clemson 2 NC ACC
11 1981-11-09 3 Southern California 3 NC Pac-10
11 1981-11-09 4 Georgia 4 NC SEC
11 1981-11-09 5 Penn State 6 Up 1 Ind
11 1981-11-09 6 Alabama 7 Up 1 SEC
11 1981-11-09 7 Nebraska 11 Up 4 Big 8
11 1981-11-09 8 Southern Methodist 10 Up 2 SWC
11 1981-11-09 9 Arizona State 9 NC Pac-10
11 1981-11-09 10 Texas 5 Down 5 SWC
11 1981-11-09 11 Michigan 12 Up 1 Big Ten
11 1981-11-09 12 Miami (FL) 13 Up 1 Ind
11 1981-11-09 13 North Carolina 8 Down 5 ACC
11 1981-11-09 14 Southern Mississippi 20 Up 6 Ind
11 1981-11-09 15 Oklahoma 17 Up 2 Big 8
11 1981-11-09 16 Arkansas 19 Up 3 SWC
11 1981-11-09 17 Washington State Up  Pac-10
11 1981-11-09 18 UCLA Up  Pac-10
11 1981-11-09 19 Hawaii Up  WAC
11 1981-11-09 20 Florida State 14 Down 6 Ind
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
12 1981-11-16 1 Pittsburgh 1 NC Ind
12 1981-11-16 2 Clemson 2 NC ACC
12 1981-11-16 3 Georgia 4 Up 1 SEC
12 1981-11-16 4 Alabama 6 Up 2 SEC
12 1981-11-16 5 Nebraska 7 Up 2 Big 8
12 1981-11-16 6 Southern Methodist 8 Up 2 SWC
12 1981-11-16 7 Michigan 11 Up 4 Big Ten
12 1981-11-16 8 Texas 10 Up 2 SWC
12 1981-11-16 9 Southern Mississippi 14 Up 5 Ind
12 1981-11-16 10 Southern California 3 Down 7 Pac-10
12 1981-11-16 11 Miami (FL) 12 Up 1 Ind
12 1981-11-16 12 North Carolina 13 Up 1 ACC
12 1981-11-16 13 Penn State 5 Down 8 Ind
12 1981-11-16 14 Washington State 17 Up 3 Pac-10
12 1981-11-16 15 UCLA 18 Up 3 Pac-10
12 1981-11-16 16 Arkansas 16 NC SWC
12 1981-11-16 17 Washington Up  Pac-10
12 1981-11-16 18 Brigham Young Up  WAC
12 1981-11-16 19 Iowa Up  Big Ten
12 1981-11-16 20 Arizona State 9 Down 11 Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
13 1981-11-23 1 Pittsburgh 1 NC Ind
13 1981-11-23 2 Clemson 2 NC ACC
13 1981-11-23 3 Georgia 3 NC SEC
13 1981-11-23 4 Alabama 4 NC SEC
13 1981-11-23 5 Nebraska 5 NC Big 8
13 1981-11-23 6 Southern Methodist 6 NC SWC
13 1981-11-23 7 Texas 8 Up 1 SWC
13 1981-11-23 8 Southern California 10 Up 2 Pac-10
13 1981-11-23 9 Miami (FL) 11 Up 2 Ind
13 1981-11-23 10 North Carolina 12 Up 2 ACC
13 1981-11-23 11 Penn State 13 Up 2 Ind
13 1981-11-23 12 Washington 17 Up 5 Pac-10
13 1981-11-23 13 Iowa 19 Up 6 Big Ten
13 1981-11-23 14 Brigham Young 18 Up 4 WAC
13 1981-11-23 15 Ohio State Up  Big Ten
13 1981-11-23 16 Michigan 7 Down 9 Big Ten
13 1981-11-23 17 Southern Mississippi 9 Down 8 Ind
13 1981-11-23 18 Arizona State 20 Up 2 Pac-10
13 1981-11-23 19 UCLA 15 Down 4 Pac-10
13 1981-11-23 20 Washington State 14 Down 6 Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
14 1981-11-30 1 Clemson 2 Up 1 ACC
14 1981-11-30 2 Georgia 3 Up 1 SEC
14 1981-11-30 3 Alabama 4 Up 1 SEC
14 1981-11-30 4 Nebraska 5 Up 1 Big 8
14 1981-11-30 5 Southern Methodist 6 Up 1 SWC
14 1981-11-30 6 Texas 7 Up 1 SWC
14 1981-11-30 7 Penn State 11 Up 4 Ind
14 1981-11-30 8 Southern California 8 NC Pac-10
14 1981-11-30 9 Miami (FL) 9 NC Ind
14 1981-11-30 10 Pittsburgh 1 Down 9 Ind
14 1981-11-30 11 North Carolina 10 Down 1 ACC
14 1981-11-30 12 Washington 12 NC Pac-10
14 1981-11-30 13 Iowa 13 NC Big Ten
14 1981-11-30 14 Brigham Young 14 NC WAC
14 1981-11-30 15 Ohio State 15 NC Big Ten
14 1981-11-30 16 Michigan 16 NC Big Ten
14 1981-11-30 17 Arizona State 18 Up 1 Pac-10
14 1981-11-30 18 Southern Mississippi 17 Down 1 Ind
14 1981-11-30 19 UCLA 19 NC Pac-10
14 1981-11-30 20 Washington State 20 NC Pac-10
Wk Date Rk School Prev Chng Conf
15 Final 1 Clemson 1 NC ACC
15 Final 2 Texas 6 Up 4 SWC
15 Final 3 Penn State 7 Up 4 Ind
15 Final 4 Pittsburgh 10 Up 6 Ind
15 Final 5 Southern Methodist 5 NC SWC
15 Final 6 Georgia 2 Down 4 SEC
15 Final 7 Alabama 3 Down 4 SEC
15 Final 8 Miami (FL) 9 Up 1 Ind
15 Final 9 North Carolina 11 Up 2 ACC
15 Final 10 Washington 12 Up 2 Pac-10
15 Final 11 Nebraska 4 Down 7 Big 8
15 Final 12 Michigan 16 Up 4 Big Ten
15 Final 13 Brigham Young 14 Up 1 WAC
15 Final 14 Southern California 8 Down 6 Pac-10
15 Final 15 Ohio State 15 NC Big Ten
15 Final 16 Arizona State 17 Up 1 Pac-10
15 Final 17 West Virginia Up  Ind
15 Final 18 Iowa 13 Down 5 Big Ten
15 Final 19 Missouri Up  Big 8
15 Final 20 Oklahoma Up  Big 8