Now We Wait To See Relevance Of Polls

We have final couple of days where one can examine the college football polls as selected by sports journalists (the Associated Press) and college coaches (USA Today). Beginning Tuesday we get the expertise from 11 men and one woman who don’t live and breathe college football, but have pledged to do their best while having jobs that require them to do other things.

Although Alabama – owing to its brand as one of the nation’s best teams and having the nation’s best coach and having another good team – is probably in good shape regardless of the selection process, it is a nervous time.

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will make known its first poll on Tuesday evening. How important is that? It will be televised.

What would really be worthwhile is the committee could give us the real reason Archie Manning resigned from the committee, because “knee surgery” is hard to believe.

What we may find out – but probably won’t until later – is how the members of this committee are thinking. Or being swayed.

Considering the polls – AP and Coaches – that have been doing the job very well, thank you, for decades have the same 25 teams this week, it is unlikely that the first selection committee poll will be much different.

What will really matter is what four teams are in the selection committee’s final poll following the conference championship games.

Today, the AP and Coaches have the same four teams in the same order, but that is going to change. Alabama is third in both polls and plays number one Mississippi State and number four Auburn in the final weeks of regular season play.

Obviously, unless something is very strange with the selection committee, Alabama can win its way to the inaugural four-team playoff for the national championship. But suppose the committee thinks that teams like Michigan State and Oregon and Kansas State are worthy?

That will tell you that a majority of those on the committee either are not watching college football or do not know what they are seeing when they do watch it.

That won’t happen this week, though.

Here are the top four teams, in order, in the AP and Coaches polls:

1. Mississippi State, 2. Florida State, 3. Alabama, 4. Auburn.

Everyone knows it will not finish in that order. The Crimson Tide plays Mississippi State in three weeks and Auburn to end regular season play. It could be said that Bama is the spoiler. More than likely, though, Alabama will be expected to win both those games, which are in Tuscaloosa.

Mississippi State and FSU are both 7-0. Alabama is the nation’s highest ranked team with one loss. The Tide has a 7-1 record.

The Tide does not play this week. Alabama’s next game is Nov. 8 at LSU. LSU, by the way, is 16th in the AP and 17th in the Coaches after beating Ole Miss last weekend. The Rebels previously were ranked in the top four, but fell to seventh in the AP and ninth in the Coaches.

Also from the Southeastern Conference, Georgia is eighth in the Coaches and ninth in the AP, Missouri is not reanked but is getting votes in both polls, and Texas A&M is getting one point – meaning one coach voted the Aggies 25th – in the Coaches.


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