Looking At This Week's Football Polls
Alabama was interested in one thing leading up to Saturday, and that was finishing regular season play with the state championship. That mission was accomplished with a 42-14 romp over Auburn in Auburn.
As Crimson Tide detractors will point out, Bama didn't win the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship and won't be able to win the SEC title. LSU and Georgia will play for the league crown Saturday in Atlanta.
But what Alabama does have a chance to do is win the national championship, and no one would worry too much about the lost prizes if the Tide gets the opportunity to go to New Orleans for the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 9. Ideally, the Tide would have the chance to play LSU, the one team that defeated Bama in this 11-1 season. LSU is 12-0 with its 9-6 overtime victory over Alabama.
There is an anti-Alabama sentiment for the BCS Championship Game. It has nothing to do with what the BCS was designed to do, which is pit the top two teams in the nation against one another for the national championship. Does it have its faults? You bet it does, but that's the system that's in place.
Just for the record, it doesn't say anything about being a conference champion, or even being a division champion. It wants the two best teams based on a variety of measures including the Coaches' Poll.
In this week's Coaches Poll, LSU was unanimously number one. Alabama was a solid number two, but not unanimous. Three of the 59 coaches voted Alabama below number two.
Virginia Tech was number three, Stanford four, Oklahoma State five. The rest of the top ten was 6. Houston, 7. Oregon, 8. Boise State, 9. Michigan State, and 10. Arkansas.
The other human poll that is a component of the BCS rankings that will determine the national championship game (as well as participants in the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls) is the Harris Poll. Voters in this poll are former coaches, players, and administrators and both former and current media members.
In the Harris Poll, it is 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Stanford, 4. Virginia Tech, 5. Oklahoma State, 6. Houston, 7. Oregon, 8. Boise State, 9. Arkansas, 10. Oklahoma.
The sportswriters and broadcasters who vote in the Associated Press poll (which isn't a part of the BCS calculations) didn't show the agenda the coaches did. All 60 voted LSU first and all 60 voted Alabama second. Behind them were Oklahoma State, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Arkansas (which fell to only sixth with its two losses at the hands of the nation's top two teams), Houston, Oregon, Boise State, USC (which is on probation and ineligible for the Coaches' Poll), and Michigan State.
Georgia is 11th in the AP poll, 12th in the Harris, and 14th in the Coaches' poll. South Carolina is 13th in the Coaches', 14th in AP and Harris.
In addition to the Coaches' Poll and Harris Poll, BCS calculations include six mysterious (and worrisome) computer rankings.
The final BCS rankings will come out on Sunday, Dec. 4, following various conference championship games.