Pitching Bama to the pollsters

With Saturday's 21-16 win over the Hawaii Warriors, Alabama's season is finished. The Associated Press voters currently rank the Tide 14th--lower than they deserve. <br><br>But with Bama banned from bowl games this year, fans should expect that number to drop even more as the Crimson Tide's considerable accomplishments this season slip from voters' minds.

Except for the fact that BamaMag.com rates Georgia ahead of the Iowa Hawkeyes, our first six teams are identical with the AP's.

Associated Press Poll (December 1st)

No.     Team     Record  Points
 1. Miami, Fla.   11-0   1,825
 2. Ohio State    13-0   1,749
 3. Iowa          11-1   1,663
 4. GEORGIA       11-1   1,597
 5. Southern Cal  10-2   1,542
 6. Kansas State  10-2   1,402
 7. Wash. State    9-2   1,315
 8. Oklahoma      10-2   1,304
 9. Texas         10-2   1,296
10. Penn State     9-3   1,070
11. Notre Dame    10-2   1,052
12. Colorado       9-3   1,041
13. Michigan       9-3   1,023
14. ALABAMA       10-3   943
15. West Virginia  9-3   616
16. Florida State  9-4   559
17. N.C. State    10-3   495
18. Virginia Tech  9-3   494
19. Boise State   11-1   482
20. AUBURN         8-4   470
21. Maryland      10-3   386
22. ARKANSAS       9-3   379
23. FLORIDA        8-4   262
24. Colo. State   10-3   239
25. Pittsburgh     8-4   221

Others (SEC Only): LSU (126), Tennessee (39).

West Coast voters continue their love affair with Washington State, but at least the national writers have finally recognized that teams like Kansas State and Penn State are playing excellent football.

The pretending Irish were finally exposed by a very good Southern Cal squad, but if WaaState wins its final game with UCLA, then don't be surprised if Notre Dame claims a BCS bowl bid ahead of the Trojans.

Not surprisingly, our opinions on rankings 14-25 differ significantly from the national consensus.

BamaMag.com's Ballot

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

Earlier in the season Alabama embarrassed the Razorbacks at home, 30-12, and frankly Arkansas has yet to recover its national reputation. We rank them at 14, eight spots above the AP, because that's where they belong. Georgia has the better team, but don't be surprised if the Razorbacks turn Saturday's SECC into a nail-biter.

The writers must have seen something from Bobby Bowden's Seminoles that we have missed, and consistently they don't much care for Maryland. Also, someone needs to explain to us why the AP voters love the "all D and no O" Irish so much, while leaving TCU (also only a two-loss team) off their ballot completely.

SEC fans appreciate having another conference team ranked, but the writers need to pay closer attention to what has gone on recently. Florida stunk up the joint in Tallahassee, while Tennessee has quietly been playing very solid football of late.

And speaking of not paying attention, the AP ranking Auburn (8-4) ahead of Arkansas (9-3), a team that shellacked the Tigers in their head-to-head meeting, is just plain dumb.

Again, some will see bias in our ranking of LSU, but the Bayou Bengals were actually much improved offensively versus Arkansas. However, in a bit of football karma, this time they were the team victimized by a last-minute, desperation pass.

And Boise? Win your bowl game against a team from a legitimate conference, and we'll talk.

Teams we genuinely felt bad about leaving off our ballot included Pittsburgh, Colorado State, Florida, Boise State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

If you're stretching things out to a Top 35, then Arizona State, UCLA, Hawaii, Kentucky and Virginia should probably slip in.


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