02 November 2008
It would be a stretch to say that all is right with the world, but for the first time since January of 1993 Alabama is the number one team in the nation. I'm sure Coach Saban will throw a little perspective into the mix at tomorrow's press conference when he reminds us all that being ranked #1 on November 2 isn't the goal, and while the coach is right, I'll make this simple argument - being ranked #1 on Nov. 2 is better than not being ranked #1 on Nov. 2.
After some time off from the poll watch - there's not much to break down when every voter had Texas at #1, this is how things break down:
Of the possible 1,625 points in AP poll Bama has 1,600. They have a commanding 72 point lead over #2 Texas Tech, and a 75 point lead over #3 Penn State. For a look at the complete poll, take a look here
Of the 65 voters in the AP poll 46 have Bama ranked at #1. Texas Tech has 12 votes at the top, Penn State six, and the one-loss Florida Gators have one (more on that in a little bit).
Here are the voters that have the Tide at #1:
- Dothan (AL) Eagle, Doug Segrest
- Birmingham (AL) News, Anthony Gimino
- Tucson (AZ) Citizen, Tom Murphy
- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Kevin Pearson
- Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise, Scott Wolf
- Los Angeles (CA) Daily News, Ray Ratto
- San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, Jake Schaller
- Colorado Springs (CO) Gazette, John Silver
- Journal Inquirer (CT), Robbie Andreu
- Gainesville (FL) Sun, Jim Lamar
- Tallahassee (FL) Democrat, Fred Lewis
- Honolulu (HI) Advertiser, Mike Prater
- Idaho Statesman, Herb Gould
- Chicago (IL) Sun Times, Mark Tupper
- Decatur (IL) Herald, Eric Hanson
- South Bend (IN) Tribune, Kent Taylor
- WAVE-3 (KY), Steve Conroy
- Boston (MA) Herald, John Heuser
- The Ann Arbor (MI) News, Joe Rexrode
- Lansing (MI) State Jourdnal, Marcus Fuller
- St. Paul (MN) Pioneer, Jim Mashek
- Sun Herald (MS), Aditi Kinkhabwala
- Bergen (NJ) Record, Joe Giglio
- Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, Taylor Zarzour
- WPTF-AM Raleigh (NC), Kirk Herbstreit
- WBNS-AM Columbus (OH), Doug Lesmerises
- Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, Matt McCoy
- WVTN-AM Columbus (OH), Myron Patton
- KOKH-TV Oklahoma City (OK), Mike Strain
- Tulsa (OK) Wolrd, Ray Fittipaldo
- Pittsburgh (PA) Post, Jeff McLane -
Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, Joe Person
- The State (SC), Mike Cedie
- WREG-TV Memphis (TN), Maurice Patton
- The Tennesseean, Bret Bloomquist
- El Paso (TX) Times, Bob Hammond
- Laramie (WY) Boomerang, Chris Fowler
- ESPN, Stewart Mandel
- SI.com, Randy Rosetta
- Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate, Barker Davis
- Washington (DC) Times, Mike DeArmond
- Kansas City (MO) Star, Steve Sipple
- Lincoln (NE) Star Journal, Bill Cole
- Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, Kirk Bohls
- Austin (TX) American Statesman, Jeff White
- Richmond (VA) Times
Of these 46 guys, all but six had the Tide at #2 last week. The six who jumped Bama from #3 (over Penn State) to #1 are the last six guys listed - starting with Randy Rosetta.
The voters who have Bama at #2 (13):
Adam Van Brimmer
- Savannah (GA) Morning News, Glenn Guilbeau
- Gannet (LA) News Service, Randy Harrison
- Albuquerque (NM) Journal, Jimmy Burch
- Fort Worth (TX) Star, Joseph Duarte
- Houston (TX) Chronicle, Molly Yanity
- Seattle (WA) Post Intelligence, Tom Hart
- CBS Sports Net, Pete DiPrimio
- Ft. Wayne (IN) News, Mark Anderson
- Las Vegas (NV) Review-Journal, Sal Interdonato
- Middletown (NY) Record, John Hunt
- The Oregonian, Mitch Vingle
- Charleston (WV) Gazette, Tom Mulhern
- Wisconsin State Journal
Of these 13, seven had the Tide at #2 last week and jumped either Penn State or Texas Tech above the Tide. The remaining six had Bama at #3 and moved the Tide up one spot.
Here are the voters that had Alabama at #3 (6):
- San Jose Mercury News, Eric Page
- Quad City (IA) Times, Tom Keegan
- Lawrence (KS) Journal, Craig James
- ABC, Brett McMurphy
- Tampa (FL) Tribune, Jason Frankchuck
- Provo (UT) Daily Herald
The first four guys had Bama at #3 last week and jumped Texas Tech above the Tide. The other two had Bama at #2 last week and decided that an idle Penn State was more impressive in doing nothing than the Tide was in beating Arkansas State 35-0. To each his own on that, I guess.
I am going to call two people out on their ballot, though. Each one of these voters has a right to put whoever they want, anywhere in the poll that they want. But you need to be able to at least justify it.
Craig James of ABC Sports... I have no particular problem with someone voting Texas Tech #1; 11 of your colleagues did the same. Of course, none of them have a son who plays for Texas Tech. I guess I can forgive this, considering the AP poll doesn't factor into the BCS Standings.
But the other guy.... oh my. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.... well, there's just no defense for your poll. Ladies and gentleman, I give you John Wilner's top six:
1. Florida 7-1
2. Texas 8-1
3. Alabama 9-0
4. Oklahoma 8-1
5. Texas Tech 9-0
6. Penn State 9-0
Is there something that looks a little off there? I'll grant to you that Florida looked awfully impressive in stomping Georgia. But they lost at home to Ole Miss. Texas lost last night. How in the world can two teams with losses be ranked at #1 and #2 when there are three BCS conference undefeateds?
Worse than that... How in the world can Texas Tech be three places below the team that they just beat last night? And how can Penn State, despite a poor schedule, be ranked at #6 - behind three different teams who have a loss?
This is a poll that demonstrates that Mr. Wilner just doesn't understand college football. I get that he truly believes that Florida is the best team in the country... but in a sport with no playoff, the regular season is the playoff. And until a team from a BCS conference has a loss, they shouldn't be below teams that have losses. Especially
when that loss is to a team ranked below them. If there are no undefeated teams, then you can rank the one-loss teams however you please. And I have no problem with Alabama being #3 in his poll. I'm not calling out the other folks who did that. This poll is just damned ridiculous.
Having said all of that... keep in mind that the AP Poll is just for fun. What used to be the
poll that mattered is now something to give the media a sense of belonging. What matters now is the BCS, and the AP poll does not factor into that. What does?
The USA Today/ESPN poll -
voted on by college football coaches.
Bama comes in at #1 in this poll. Of the 1,525 possible points in this poll Bama racked up 1,498. That gives the Tide a commanding 61 point lead over #2 Penn State, and an 89 point lead over #3 Texas Tech.
Bama received 40 of the 61 #1 votes, with Penn State getting 14, Texas Tech six, and one-loss Oklahoma getting one.
The Harris Interactive Poll
- voted on by former players, coaches, and administrators, as well as current members of the media who do not vote in the AP poll.
Bama comes in at #1 here, taking home 79 of the 114 #1 votes. Of the possible 2,850 points, Bama has 2,798. That gives the Tide a 109 point lead over #2 Penn State, and a 154 point lead over #3 Texas Tech.
If you'd like to see a list of the Harris poll voters, take a look here
The Computer Polls -
a combination of six computer rankings that take into account things like strength of schedule. These polls are similar to basketball's RPI rankings.
No word here, though Bama should easily be #1 based on strength of schedule.
The official BCS Standings should be out later today, and we'll have them here. Though it is almost certain that Bama will be a clear #1.