Alabama Second In Polls, But It’s Early

The first polls of the year following the opening weekend of college football have a role in the season

There is a new mantra among the college football elitists. For months these journalistic snobs have insisted that preseason polls don’t mean anything. Now they can say that regular season polls don’t mean anything, particularly after just one week of competition.

 

This is a position long held by college football coaches, who have maintained, “The only poll that matters is the last one.” Sportswriters and sportscasters joined that fraternity in large numbers. And yet, the Associated Press has no problem in getting leading journalists to participate in its poll. And the coaches who insist that they aren’t interested in polls also vote each week in a separate poll.

 

 

 

From the preseason poll through the final poll, the standings in the AP and Coaches rankings are remarkably similar. This week, after one weekend of games, the top four teams are the same in both. Although in different order, so are the next three teams. After that, the next six teams are the same, although, again, in slightly different sequence.

 

 

 

In fact, the only real difference in the two polls is that Mississippi State is 25th in the AP and just out of the Coaches Poll at 26th, and Wisconsin is 26th by the AP, but 24th in the Coaches.

 

 

 

One of the things those two teams have in common is that both are on the Alabama schedule. Last week, Bama was the only top ten team in the preseason polls that was playing another ranked team (Wisconsin was 20th), and the Crimson Tide prevailed, 35-17. That moved Alabama from second, past at TCU team that had its problems winning against Minnesota.

 

 

 

No one could question Ohio State, last year’s national champion, being number one in both polls.

 

 

 

And now one thing the polls point out is the difficulty that Alabama will have maintaining its position, and the relative ease with which it appears Ohio State will have in being one of the top four teams at the end of the year when the College Football Playoff selection committee of 13 supplants the polls.

 

 

 

The Southeastern Conference put 10 teams in the AP top 25, the first time in history one league has had 10 teams ranked at one time. Primarily for that reason, the Crimson Tide has a murderers’ row ahead of it. With one ranked team down, Bama faces eight more teams currently in the AP top 25 – Ole Miss, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn.

 

 

 

If the Tide can make it back to the SEC Championship Game it will face another ranked team, perhaps Missouri if those Tigers can win the SEC East for a third straight year.

 

 

 

Ohio State, on the other hand, is playing in the Big Ten. As was pointed out last week, both Alabama and Ohio State have regularly scheduled games against the same number of ranked Big Ten teams – one. Bama played Wisconsin and the Buckeyes will play Michigan State.

 

 

 

Alabama has been ranked first in the AP poll at some point during each of the past seven years, but has only – ONLY – three national championships to show for it.

 

 

 

It is fair to point out that no one had Ohio State ranked first in the nation last year, especially after the Buckeyes lost their second game of the 2014 season at home to Virginia Tech.

 

 

 

If nothing else, though, the polls add another layer of interest to college football.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is this week’s AP Poll:

 

 

 

    Ohio State

    Alabama

    TCU

    Baylor

    Michigan State

    Auburn

    Oregon

    USC

    Notre Dame

    Georgia

    Florida State

    Clemson

    UCLA

    LSU

    Georgia Tech

    Texas A&M

    Ole Miss

    Arkansas

    Oklahoma

    Boise State

    Missouri

    Arizona

    Tennessee

    Utah

    Mississippi State

 

 

 

Here is this week’s Coaches Poll:

 

 

 

    Ohio State

    Alabama

    TCU

    Baylor

    Oregon

    Michigan State

    Auburn

    Florida State

    Georgia

    USC

    Notre Dame

    Clemson

    CLA

    Ole Miss

    LSU

    Georgia Tech

    Oklahoma

    Arkansas

    Texas A&M

    Arizona

    Missouri

    Boise State

    Tennessee

    Wisconsin

    Utah


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