Alabama Leads SEC West In Weekly Polls

The coaches must be brainwashed against the Southeastern Conference West Division. While the Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters this week has five of its top ten teams from the SEC West, the Coaches Poll somehow found a way to put UCLA in the top ten. Tenth. To be sure, but why? In any event, ONLY four SEC West Teams are in the Coaches top ten.

Alabama stayed third in the AP poll and second in the Coaches Poll, getting one first place vote in each.

Florida State is first in both polls, followed by Oregon in the AP rankings with Oklahoma fourth. In the Coaches Poll, Bama was followed by Oregon third and Oklahoma fourth.

In most weeks, the big news is the top four, because it is expected that Condoleezza and Friends will make a selection along the lines of the major college football polls as to which four teams make the first entries into the College Football Playoff.

This week, though, the interest is in conference representation in the top ten.

The SEC – in fact, half of the SEC, one division, the West – provides half of the top ten in the AP poll. In addition to Alabama at number 3, there is Auburn fifth, Texas A&M sixth, LSU eighth, and Ole Miss tenth.

That’s five of the seven SEC West teams in the top ten. The other two – Mississippi State and Arkansas – were both among teams receiving votes in both polls but not in the top 25.

The rest of the AP top ten has Baylor seventh and Notre Dame ninth.

Ah, Notre Dame! It brings back memories of imaginary girl friends, imaginary student-athletes, and imaginary national championship worthy teams.

In the Coaches Poll behind the top four are Auburn fifth, Baylor sixth, Texas A&M seventh, LSU eighth, Notre Dame ninth, and UCLA tenth.

UCLA squeaked out a three-point win over the hapless Texas Longhorns Saturday. If Texas had been able to have just one more possession, the stars might have been bright in Austin Saturday night. Of course, the Longhorns could have had one more possession if they understood all the nuances of the coin toss.

Here’s the way that works. The referee tosses a coin and the visiting team calls heads or tails. UCLA made its call and won the toss. Now it gets complicated. The team that wins the toss can elect to receive or to defend one side of the field or (in about one time in six or eight million) elect to kick off. Or the team winning the coin toss can defer its choice to the second half, when it will almost always choose to receive. Imagine the surprise when Texas elected to kick off to start the game. That meant UCLA got the ball to start both halves, that extra possession that might have made the difference in the outcome.

And maybe because Texas had a captain that didn’t understand the coin toss, UCLA is in the nation’s top ten with three very unimpressive victories.

So now UCLA has an eight-point win over Virginia, a seven-point win over Memphis, and a three-point win over Texas. Hmmmm?

As for the rest of the top 25:

Both polls have Michigan State 11th. The AP has UCLA 12th, while the Coaches have Ole Miss 12th.

Both sets of voters apparently missed the outcome of a game again this week. The AP has Georgia 13th and South Carolina 14th. The Coaches have Georgia 14th and South Carolina 16th. It would be entertaining for the self-proclaimed Ball Coach to elucidate on that after his Gamecocks defeated Georgia.

The AP has Arizona State 15th and Stanford 16th, while the Coaches have Arizona State 13th and Stanford 15th.

Rounding out the top 25 in the AP are USC (which almost beat Boston College) 17th, Missouri 18th, Wisconsin 19th, Kansas State 20th, BYU 2`st, Clemson 22nd, Ohio State 23rd, Nebraska 24th, and Oklahoma State 25th.

The remainder of the Coaches poll has Wisconsin 17th, Ohio State 18th, Missouri 19th, Kansas State 20th, USC 21st, Nebraska 22nd, BYU 23rd, Clemson 24th, and North Carolina 25th.

In addition to Mississippi State and Arkansas, Florida is among SEC teams in the “others receiving votes” category.

Alabama hosts Florida this week in the first SEC game for Bama. The Gators are 1-0 in SEC play after beating Kentucky in three overtimes Saturday. The Gators are 2-0, while Alabama is 3-0.

Kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday is at 2:30 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS.


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