We vote every week on the top teams in the country and then we have a conference call during which we discuss the pluses and minuses of teams from different areas. It is a lot of fun and it is great information. When John Robinson, Terry Donahue or Don James talk about teams from the West Coast, you have got to believe what they say. Over the years we have been doing this they have been very accurate with what they have told us.
The same thing is true when coaches like R.C. Slocum, Fisher DeBerry and LaVell Edwards talk about teams in their areas. We have John Cooper and Bill Mallory to discuss the teams in the Big 10 area. From the East we have Don Nehlen and George Welsh to discuss those teams.
This week we were talking about the top teams across the country and the consensus was that so far this season Alabama is the top team. There was no argument on that point from anybody.
It's a different situation on who should be ranked the number two team. Some of the coaches think Ohio State belongs there. Some of the coaches think Oregon is No. 2 while others like Boise State at that spot. John Cooper even thinks Nebraska might be the number two team in the country.
Auburn hasn't made it up into that upper echelon to get into that conversation yet, which I think is a really interesting subject to discuss. We talked about it for 30 minutes the other day and I just threw this out for discussion. I said we probably have about 10 undefeated teams out there that are capable of winning the national championship this year.
With quarterback Cameron Newton leading the offense, the Auburn Tigers are off to a 5-0 start this season.
I said just suppose that five or six of these teams end up the regular season undefeated. If that happens where are we going? Who is going to be in the championship game?
What I am trying to point out is the BCS system was designed to fail. Suppose we get to the end of the regular season and Nebraska is undefeated, Oregon is undefeated, Boise State is undefeated, TCU is undefeated, Ohio State is undefeated and both Auburn and Alabama are undefeated. If Auburn beats Alabama with Alabama being ranked number one, is Auburn going to jump ahead of Oregon or Ohio State? Are Oregon and Ohio State going to the BCS Championship Game because they were ranked two and three? Is Boise State going to go? How is it going to work out?
If that happens it is going to be chaos and I expect the debate will go back into the public arena in Washington, D.C., where politicians will try to force college football to have a playoff, although I am not sure they can make that happen.
From the mailbag, from James Clemens:
"Coach Dye: Great article on the importance of the kicking game. One other thing you could have added about the 1972 Auburn-Alabama game was that the reason Alabama had just 16 points was that Roger Mitchell blocked an extra point in the first half or Auburn would have had to go for two to win the game."
James, you are right about the importance of Roger Mitchell blocking that extra point. Something else I can mention about the kicking game that day in Auburn's 17-16 win was Coach Shug Jordan's decision to send Gardner Jett out to kick a 42-yard field goal with Auburn trailing 16-0 late in the game. He made the kick to cut the lead to 16-3.
Coach Jordan had a great comment about that field goal. He said that both sides booed when he sent his kicker out on the field. The Auburn people booed because they thought he had given up and the Alabama people booed because the three points beat the line.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.