Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Poll message: Blow out the Georgia States of the world
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Oct 07, 2013 | 2071 views |  0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oregon Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff (1) stretches across the goal to score in the second half as the Ducks beat the Colorado Buffaloes 57-16 on Saturday. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)
Oregon Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff (1) stretches across the goal to score in the second half as the Ducks beat the Colorado Buffaloes 57-16 on Saturday. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)
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Alabama lost two first-place votes in the most recent USA Today coaches poll, which makes hardly any difference at all.

The Crimson Tide still is a solid No. 1 in the poll, and besides, whichever team wins the Southeastern Conference Championship Game is a near lock to make the BCS title contest anyway.

Still, it¹s puzzling to see these two coaches change their ballots, and not just because it¹s Alabama. (The coaches are not required to make their ballots public until the final vote of the regular season.)

Think of it this way: How often do we hear coaches complain about how they don¹t like a poll system that requires them to blow out an undermanned program?

So, you would think the coaches¹ own poll is the last place we would see two coaches switch their first-place ballots from Alabama (a 45-3 winner over Georgia State) to Oregon (a 57-16 winner over Colorado).

The logic of the move isn¹t hard to understand: Oregon whacked a Pac-12 Conference opponent pretty good. (Yes, Colorado is now in the Pac-12.) Alabama didn¹t play anybody special or do anything out of the ordinary.

But the message these two coaches sent is that perhaps Alabama should¹ve hung 70 or more on Georgia State. You know, the same way Ohio State beat Florida A&M 76-0, Miami beat Savannah State 77-7 or Louisville beat Florida International 72-0 earlier this year.

Then again, it isn¹t unusual these days to win and drop in the rankings.

Over in The Associated Press poll, which uses reporters and broadcasters, Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska each fell down the rankings twice this year after wins. Twice.

For Michigan, the Wolverines fell from No. 11 to No. 15 after beating Notre Dame, which once upon a time was the darling of the polls. Maybe karma finally caught up.

In case you¹re wondering if this ever would¹ve happened to one of Bear Bryant¹s Alabama teams, consider this: In 1973, his then-No. 2 Crimson Tide beat Virginia Tech 77-6 and lost ground the next week to Ohio State in the AP rankings.

Also, in 1979, unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Alabama beat No. 14 Auburn 25-18 but lost five first-place votes in the AP poll and dropped to No. 2 behind Ohio State.

Here¹s hoping those two coaches who switched Alabama and Oregon on their ballots this weekend aren¹t the ones complaining about having to run up the score to win votes.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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