Tide in the Top 10

Obviously the national voters are starting to come around to Alabama's point of view. But "quality losses" or not, the Tide's two defeats mean a lower-level Top Ten ranking is about as good as it can hope for right now.

Oklahoma's upset at Texas A&M caused great joy among the Ohio State family (not to mention R.C. Slocum's).

Two BCS teams for the Big 10? Right now it looks that way, as fortunate scheduling prevents the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes from meeting on the football field (and probably knocking one or the other out of the BCS).

And Washington State fans should cut out and laminate this week's poll, because it's definitely uncharted territory for the Wazzus. Funniest line we read this week was from a WaaState beat writer. Referring to his team's start, he wrote, "it's far too premature to place this 2002 squad among the greatest in school history."

Take it from an impartial observer, it's not too early.

Associated Press Poll

No.  Team            Record  Points
 1. Miami (74)       9-0     1,850
 2. Ohio State       11-0    1,771
 3. Washington State 9-1     1,592
 4. Oklahoma         8-1     1,590
    Texas            9-1     1,590
 6. Iowa             10-1    1,560
 7. GEORGIA          9-1     1,403
 8. Southern Cal.    7-2     1,275
 9. Notre Dame       9-1     1,256
10. ALABAMA          8-2     1,175
11. Kansas State     8-2     1,114
12. Michigan         8-2     1,021
13. Virginia Tech    8-2     818
14. LSU              7-2     816
15. Florida State    7-3     725
16. Penn State       7-3     649
17. Colorado         7-3     628
18. Pittsburgh       8-2     561
19. Maryland         8-2     527
20. FLORIDA          7-3     437
21. Colorado State   8-2     391
22. N.C. State       9-2     382
23. Oregon           7-3     344
24. AUBURN           7-3     138
25. Texas Christian  8-1     118

Others (SEC Only): Arkansas (10), Tennessee (5).

Not surprisingly, BamaMag.com has some serious differences with the national writers, exemplified by the Oklahoma versus Texas foolishness. Despite the Sooners' earlier trouncing of the Longhorns on the field, for some inexplicable reason the AP voters think the two teams are equal.

Nonsense.

But at least they beat their Coaches Poll counterparts. The coaches (actually athletics directors) rate Texas three spots better than Oklahoma.

Double nonsense.

BamaMag.com's Ballot

No.  Team            Record
 1. Miami            9-0
 2. Ohio State       11-0
 3. GEORGIA          9-1
 4. Iowa             10-1
 5. Oklahoma         8-1
 6. Washington State 9-1
 7. Notre Dame       9-1
 8. Texas            9-1
 9. ALABAMA          8-2
10. Kansas State     8-2
11. Southern Cal.    7-2
12. Virginia Tech    8-2
13. Michigan         8-2
14. Maryland         8-2
15. Texas Christian  8-1
16. LSU              7-2
17. Pittsburgh       8-2
18. Penn State       7-3
19. Florida State    7-3
20. ARKANSAS         6-3
21. Oregon           7-3
22. Colorado         7-3
23. FLORIDA          7-3
24. AUBURN           7-3
25. N.C. State       9-2

Relatively speaking, we continue to like Iowa and Georgia more than national voters. Yes, the Bulldogs lost last week (again) to Florida, but upsets happen. And Georgia/Iowa are simply more balanced and playing better all-around football than other candidates.

Southern Cal versus Alabama? Check the stats--and it's not really close. But the West Coast voters have to have someone to vote for, and this season WaaState and SouCal play the role.

In the second ten we have a few other significant differences with the national consensus. We take note of Maryland's eight game winning streak and place them five spots higher than the AP. How can you not like a team coached by Ralph Fridgien?

And while we admit that Dennis Franchione put TCU on our football map two years back, their on-the-field play has kept them there. The Horned Frogs are 7-1 with the second-best defense in the nation. And AP deigns to rank them at 25, behind 16 other schools with worse records?

No wonder Franchione moved on to greener pastures.

The other major difference is Pittsburgh. We like their hard-nosed brand of football. The AP voters obviously don't.

Teams we were most reluctant to leave off our ballot include Colorado State (love the helmets), Arizona State (if they only had a defense), Iowa State (we hung with you as long as we could, Seneca), Minnesota (has Hayden Fox retired yet?) and UCLA.

NOTE: All of this is obviously opinion, and yours is probably just as valid as ours. Tell us how and why we're wrong on the Bama Board.


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