Polls Give Detractors Reason To Discount Them

What was that line of people with ice skates slung over their shoulders doing headed for the gates of Hell? Oh, they must have seen the latest college football polls. Mississippi State is number one in the nation.

Alabama stayed at number seven despite one of the worst performances of the Nick Saban Era. Not just in victory, but in any game. The Crimson Tide limped out of Fayetteville with a 14-13 win over Arkansas. The only thing that would have been more depressing and embarassing would have been if Bama had lost.

The big news is that Mississippi State – winner of three consecutive games over top ten competition, including a 38-23 win over Auburn Saturday – is number one in both the Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters and the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today. The Bulldogs don’t appear to have a chance of losing before playing Bama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 15. And unless the Crimson Tide shows a lot of improvement in the next few weeks, the Bulldogs won’t have much trouble with Bama.

Speaking of embarrassment, and even allowing for the difficulty of voting for Mississippi State as the nation’s best team, the coaches should be embarrassed to continue to give most number one votes to Florida State. FSU was second in the nation in both polls despite its high profile embarrassment of college athletics and the institution of higher education, the rule of law, civilization, and on and on.

Mississippi State earned 45 first place votes to only 12 for FSU from the sports journalists, but the coaches gave the Seminoles 31 votes to 26 for MSU.

Ole Miss was third in both polls with three first place votes in the AP and five in the Coaches.

Baylor was fourth and Notre Dame fifth in both polls.

Alabama stayed seventh with two different circumstances of the teams in sixth and eighth. The AP has Auburn sixth, Michigan State eighth; the Coaches have them just the opposite.

Oregon is ninth in both and Georgia 10th.

Texas A&M fell to 21st. The Crimson Tide will host the Aggies at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference games. A&M is 5-2 overall, 2-2 in SEC games. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS.

Teams 11-15 were identical in both polls: Oklahoma, TCU, Ohio State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State. From there the AP had Arizona, Arizona State, East Carolina, Nebraska, Utah, Texas A&M, USC, Stanford, Clemson, and Marshall. The Coaches had the last 10 as East Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Stanford, A&M, Clemson, Utah, Marshall, and Southern Cal.

SEC teams not in the top 25 but getting votes in one or both polls are LSU, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and South Carolina.

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