Alabama Moves To Top In All Polls

The big question in the polls this week, is not which teams will fill the one, two, and three spots. It is, of course, “Who replaces Mississippi State in the top four?” And by “polls” we really mean the College Football Playoff Selection Committee poll, which will be announced Tuesday.

In the meantime, it is interesting that Alabama has taken over the top spot in the Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters. A week earlier the Crimson Tide of Coach Nick Saban had been number one in the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today, and Bama is still number one in that poll.

Alabama was number one in the College Football Playoff rankings last week, and presumably will stay in that spot this week after having defeated Auburn, 55-44, to win the Southeastern Conference Western Division Saturtday night.

Oregon and Florida State occupy the two and three spots in various order in all the polls, this week’s AP and Coaches and last week’s CFP.

A week ago, Mississippi State was fourth in all the rankings, perhaps needing only a win over cross-state rival Ole Miss to make history in the inaugural CFP four-team playoff. Alas, the Bulldogs lost for the second consecutive week and will be content with a nice bowl trip and one of the best records in MSU history.

Looking at this week’s AP and Coaches polls, it appears that TCU may be the beneficiary of the Bulldogs blowing the Egg Bowl. TCU was fifth in last week’s CFP poll and is fourth in both the AP and Coaches this week.

All this is merely a prelude, though, until the CFP poll that will be announced a week from today, Sunday, Dec. 7, the day following conference championship games. Alabama is number one for now (and probably Tuesday night), but Bama has one more test to pass in order to be the number one seed in the CFP tournament.

The Crimson Tide meets Missouri, SEC Eastern Division champion, at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) Saturday in the SEC Championship Game. The game will be covered by CBS.

Other championship games will also be played Saturday in the ACC (Florida State vs. Georgia Tech) and Big Ten (Ohio State vs. Wisconsin). On Friday, the Pac-12 will have its title game (Oregon vs. Arizona). TCU is a member of the Big 12, which has a round robin schedule rather than a conference championship game, and will close its season hosting Iowa State on Saturday.

In this week’s AP poll, FSU (12-0) got 29 first place votes to 25 for Alabama (11-1) and five for Oregon, but Bama had 1,426 points to 1,423 for the Seminoles. Oregon was third, TCU fourth, Baylor fifth, and Ohio State sixth.

Those are the teams that most expect to be in the hunt for the four spots.

They are also the same teams in the same order in the Coaches Poll. Alabama and FSU had 28 first place votes each with Oregon getting six. The Tide had 1,507 votes, the Seminoles 1,389.

In fact, the polls were identical through the first 12 spots. Behind the top six were 7. Michigan State, 8. Arizona, 9. Kansas State, 10. Mississippi State, 11. Wisconsin, and 12. Georgia Tech.

Missouri, the Tide’s opponent in Atlanta Saturday, is 13th in the Coaches Poll and 14th in the AP, with Ole Miss 13th in AP and 14th in Coaches. Both polls had Georgia 15th.

Rounding out the Coaches Poll were 16. Oklahoma, 17. UCLA, 18. Arizona State, 19. Clemson, 20. Louisville, 21. Auburn, 22. Boise State, 23. Nebraska, 24. LSU, and 25. Minnesota. SEC member Arkansas was among others receiving votes.

The final 10 in the AP poll were 16. UCLA, 17. Arizona State, 18. Oklahoma, 19. Clemson, 20. Auburn, 21. Louisville, 22. Boise State, 23. LSU, 24. Utah, and 25. Nebraska.

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