Legendary Coaches Move Tide Up To Top

No one is saying anything for sure, but it’s possible – some would say likely – that Alabama got a little boost from Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State administration when it came to voting by legendary coaches in this week’s Legends Poll Top 8.

Alabama took over the top spot after the Crimson Tide’s solid quarterback (and solid citizen) Blake Sims delivered spectacularly with four touchdown passes and 445 passing yards in a convincing 42-21 win over Florida Saturday.

The Crimson Tide jumped over Florida State to Number One in voting by retired coaches who have achieved legendary status. The Legends Poll this year is selecting a top eight teams, believing that the current College Football Playoff model of four teams will soon be increased to eight.

FSU quarterback Jameis Winston has been guilty of a number of transgressions that would, at least, embarrass a university, but he has generally been allowed to roll merrily along on the strength of his unquestioned football talent. Finally, at the last minute last week, the FSU administration tried its best to unbungle its failed disciplinary message, only to have Winston reiterate the FSU bizarreness with his sideline behavior.

Perhaps that did not sit well with most of the old coaches.

Bama got eight first place votes from the 14 head coaches. Those picking Bama No. 1 were John Cooper of Ohio State fame, Fisher DeBerry (Air Force), Terry Donahue (UCLA), Vince Dooley (Georgia), Pay Dye (Auburn), Bill Mallory (Colorado), Don Nehlen (West Virginia), and Gene Stallings (Alabama).

Having the Tide second on their ballots were Bobby Bowden (FSU), Frank Broyles (Arkansas), John Robinson (USC), R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M), and George Welsh (Virginia).

Former BYU Coach Lavell Edwards was the only coach to have Alabama third (behind FSU and Oregon).

Playing without Winston, but having the advantage of some curious coaching decisions by Clemson, FSU was able to squeak past Clemson, 23-17. The Seminoles received five first place votes – from Bowden, Broyles, Edwards, Slocum, and Welsh. Robinson had Oklahoma No. 1.

Oklahoma jumped up to the No. 3 after beating West Virginia 45-33 in Morgantown.

Oregon slid two places to No. 4 after a tight 38-31 win over Washington State in which the Ducks received some very favorable officiating.

The rest of the top eight were Auburn, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Notre Dame, which replaced LSU in the Top 8. LSU dropped out of the Top 8 and did not receive a vote after losing last week to Mississippi State, 34-29, in Baton Rouge. Michigan State and Mississippi State were “Others Receiving Votes.”

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