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Minimal change in coaches’ poll as Tide again unanimous No. 1

Alabama v LSU Getty Images

As expected, and thanks to the utter dearth of upsets, the latest USA Today coaches’ poll has a very similar look to its predecessor.

On the strength of its come-from-behind road win over LSU, Alabama is once again the No. 1 team on the ballots of all 59 coaches (winkwink nudgenudge) who vote in the USA Today poll.  It’s the 10th consecutive week the Tide has been No. 1 according to the coaches, and the fourth week in a row they’ve been a unanimous selection.

The entire Top 10 from a week ago, in fact, didn’t change, although there was a bit of shuffling of positions thanks to LSU’s loss to the Tide.  The Tigers, ranked No. 5 last week, dropped four spots to No. 9.  As a result, Georgia (No. 5), Florida State (No. 6), Florida (No. 7) and Clemson (No. 8) all moved up one spot apiece.

Oregon (No. 2), Kansas State (No. 3) and Notre Dame (No. 4) all held serve, as did unbeaten Louisville (No. 10 and sandwiched between a pair of two-loss SEC teams) in rounding out the Top 10.

A total of four teams took the biggest jumps of the week, moving up five spots each: Nebraska (No. 16), Texas (No. 17), Louisiana Tech (No. 18) and Rutgers (No. 20).

Boise State took the biggest hit of those that still remain ranked, tumbling all the way from No. 14 to No. 24 after its loss to unranked San Diego State.  USC (No. 22) and Mississippi State (No. 23) each fell five spots from a week ago.

Conference-wise, the voters — with the inexplicable exception of the Longhorns — really had it in for the Big 12.  Three teams dropped out this week, and all three were from the Big 12: West Virginia (No. 19), Texas Tech (No. 20) and Oklahoma State (No. 24).  They were replaced by teams from the Pac-12 (UCLA, No. 19), Big Ten (Northwestern, No. 21) and MAC (Toledo, No. 25).

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27 Responses to “Minimal change in coaches’ poll as Tide again unanimous No. 1”
  1. Deb says: Nov 4, 2012 2:46 PM

    This isn’t a knock on Clemson, but I prefer the AP poll putting LSU ahead of the Clemson Tigers. Whatever issues folks may take with Les’s play calling, that team make a tremendous impression last night despite losing several defensive starters from last year’s SEC Championship team.

  2. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 3:13 PM

    Alabama proved one thing last night. They proved they do not belong in the #1 spot. Oregon, Kansas State, and possibly Notre Dame are all deserving of higher rankings. No team that goes five three-and-outs in a row is a national champion team. Drop them down in the polls; let them scramble their way back like everyone else has been compelled to do.

  3. kdbroom says: Nov 4, 2012 3:51 PM

    pedagoguish,

    Bama is the defending national champion, is undefeated, is the undisputed leader of the conference that has won the last six national titles, has the best defense in the country, and has the best coach. You must be smoking dope to think they should be ranked behind an Oregon and/or KSU teams that have yet to win anything of significance in their history, and a ND team that hasn’t been relevant for two decades (and almost lost to Pitt at home). Until anyone else can prove it on the field, the top SEC team deserves to sit in that #1 spot.

  4. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    Broomstick,

    I do not smoke dope. I watch football, lots of it.

    Oregon is a better team than Alabama. They have a much more potent offense, an adequate defense, and they play mistake-free football. Alabama is last year’s news as this season will ultimately show.

    Besides, there is no such thing as a defending national champion. Each year’s college team is new, with new personnel and new possibilities. Ask an Auburn fan what “last year’s defending national champion” means in subsequent years.

    Ped

  5. Deb says: Nov 4, 2012 4:41 PM

    Oh, ped … you’re a Ducks fan and an SEC hater. Not exactly an objective commenter. Yeah, I’m a Bama fan. But my post here was about how well our opponent played. As for the Ducks, no one can deny that offense. But Oregon allowed 51 points. C’mon, man. Even you should recognize a contender’s gotta have some defense.

  6. gatorcheme says: Nov 4, 2012 4:57 PM

    Deb,

    Ninja’d. :) I was going to make a comment about that defense. When I saw the score yesterday, I thought they played an early basketball game.

    Kinda reminded me of some of the Spurrier years when the Gators had the fun-n-gun. We didn’t need a defense, we just had to score more points. It gets you to the big game, but it’s no way to win against a team with a solid defense. It’s a huge chink in the armor. If the opposing team finds it, you are toast.

    Seriously Ped, you can’t possibly believe that the Ducks are deserving of #1 based on yesterday’s game against an overrated USC.

  7. gatorcheme says: Nov 4, 2012 5:05 PM

    While on the subject of polls in general. What’s up with the Harris Poll (NBC Version) rating Michigan State with a 5-5 record @ #20? Shouldn’t that read Mississippi State?

    Not that anyone cares much about the Harris…

  8. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    Pompous Deb,

    If Alabama were scoring fifty points per game they would be giving up thirty as well. Defenses on high octane teams spend an inordinate amount of time on the field, and they get tired. Look at Baylor last year and West Virginia this year.

    What matters is that Oregon has a defense sufficient to win and an offense that is unstoppable. This is a combination that Alabama can’t match.

    You are wrong about my attitude toward the SEC and the Big 12. I don’t hate the South. I just hate Alabama and Texas. (Wish they would secede.) I actually enjoy it when other Southeast teams knock these arrogant cusses off their pedestals. In this I’m sure I’m not alone. I may not speak for the nation, but I’m sure I speak for about 85 percent of the people living in the South!

    You also have it wrong concerning my attitude toward Oregon. I admire the excellence of Oregon’s program, but I am an unreconstructed Stanford fan. I’ll be pulling hard for the Tree when he goes up against the Duck. But I’m afraid its logging season on the West Coast.

    Sincerely,
    Head-spinnin’ Ped

  9. dcroz says: Nov 4, 2012 5:38 PM

    Ped:

    Speaking of logging season, I guess one of those trees hit you in the head. Do you remember the last two times Oregon played an SEC team? The Ducks didn’t put up 50 points COMBINED in those two games. Their high-flying offense was largely shut down by an Auburn defense that was merely average by SEC standards in the BCSCG, then they were likewise stymied by LSU in the season opener in Dallas the following year. I’m not taking anything away from how good Oregon is this season, but until they face a defense worth half a damn, save the smack talk.

  10. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 6:19 PM

    Crow:

    You have a point. When Oregon faces Notre Dame in the national championship game, Manti Te’o could create some problems for them. :-)

    Ped

  11. klownboy says: Nov 4, 2012 6:20 PM

    I think Kansas State is the 2nd best team, not Oregon…

  12. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 6:34 PM

    Clown,

    If you had any gumption, you’d say that K State is first best, not second best to anyone.

    Ped

  13. kdbroom says: Nov 4, 2012 7:02 PM

    pedagoguish,

    Obviously you don’t know much about real football. Everything starts down in the trenches, and not with the skill players. That gimmicky offense will get pounded by Bama’s DL. Oregon’s non-existent defense will get pounded by Bama’s OL. SEC defenses have shut down your precious Duck offense, and they’ve successfully controlled the ball on offense. Bama’s defense is better than anything Oregon has faced in the last few years, and their OL is arguably the best in the country. Once the Pac-12 learns that, maybe then they can win a championship. Until then, the SEC is the big boy, and everyone else has lots to prove. You may not like it, but it’s the truth.

  14. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 7:48 PM

    Broom,

    You know nothing about football on the West Coast. USC, Stanford, and Oregon have offensive lines that can go toe to toe with any in the country. Bleacher Report ranks USC’s offensive line 4th, Stanford 6th, and Oregon 14th. As for defenses, Athlon rates Oregon’s new 3-4 defensive line 9th best in the country, ahead of Alabama at 10th.
    West Coast defenses have nothing to be ashamed of, as you will learn to your sorrow if you ever have the misfortune to face any one of these three teams.

    Stay up late some night and watch real football. You’ll get an education.

    Ped

  15. frank booth says: Nov 4, 2012 8:54 PM

    If Athlon rated Oregon #9, then it must be true. They are never wrong on anything.

    I did watch last night’s game and watched Oregon’s vaunted defense give up more points to USC than any other defense has this year.

  16. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 9:44 PM

    Oregon scored NINE touchdowns. As a result they put the ball back into the hands of one of football’s best offenses nine times. Obviously a team with as much talent as USC has will score given nine opportunities. You SEC types can’t understand this because you don’t understand that offense is a significant element of gridiron.

  17. kdbroom says: Nov 4, 2012 9:58 PM

    pedagodouche,

    Give it up. You’re making a losing argument. You can point to all the statistics, and all the magazine rankings, that you’d like. It doesn’t change the fact that the best teams from the Pac-12 simply don’t match up with the best teams in the SEC. The Pac-12 has been a non-factor in recent years. Finesse offenses, throwing the ball around, scoring lots of points, etc., mean nothing when you step outside of your conference to play the big teams. Six, count ‘em, SIX national titles in a row.

    LSU’s defense handled them.
    Auburn’s defense handled them.

    Their offense is flashy. They put up lots of points. They win style points with lots of voters. However, when it comes to the big games, especially against SEC teams, they fold like origami. Until you can prove something by actually beating an SEC team in a big game, no chest-thumping is allowed.

  18. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 10:07 PM

    Dear Kiddie,

    I would like nothing better than to see Oregon pummel an SEC team, but I really fear it will not happen. ‘Bama is going down to A&M next week. End of story for the vaunted SEC.

    Yours in Christ,
    Ped

  19. gatorcheme says: Nov 4, 2012 10:36 PM

    pedagoguish says:
    Nov 4, 2012 9:44 PM
    Oregon scored NINE touchdowns. As a result they put the ball back into the hands of one of football’s best offenses nine times. Obviously a team with as much talent as USC has will score given nine opportunities. You SEC types can’t understand this because you don’t understand that offense is a significant element of gridiron.

    —-

    Dude, that works in B-Ball, but not so much here. You put the ball back in their hands whether you go ’3 and out’ or run the field. Actually, when teams get touchdowns, they tend to eat up more clock, which should lead to lower scores (if both sides are scoring equally)–UNLESS the defenses totally SUCK as with the Oregon/USC game.

    Sheesh…troll.

  20. pedagoguish says: Nov 4, 2012 11:00 PM

    Hidebound thinking, Chemo. Throw out conventional thinking when you assess Oregon. The Ducks score fast–very fast! Barner runs off 10 yards at a clip. Two minutes–touchdown!

    No one claims that defense is the strength of Oregon’s team. But in USC Oregon faced three of the best pass receivers in the nation and one of the best quarterbacks. Alabama has nothing like these to offer. McCarron is at best a journeyman game manager; at worst he is the QB we saw
    for most of the LSU game. Alabama is weak at wide receiver; they cannot score on Oregon as USC did.

    Actually the whole issue is academic. LSU exposed Alabama for what they are: a team not good enough to make it through to the national championship. FOLD TIDE!

  21. frank booth says: Nov 5, 2012 12:01 AM

    Ped- It’s true that Oregon played one of the best QB’s and a couple of the best receivers in the nation and they won’t see that against Alabama. It’s also true that they played against the 65th best defense, and that Oregon’s defense is ranked 50th.

    Fact is, no one knows what Oregon can do against a good defense.

    I don’t think that LSU exposed anything other than that they are not good enough to beat Alabama. Neither the Alabama game nor the Oregon game proved how either team would play against the other.

  22. greggatx says: Nov 5, 2012 2:53 PM

    The tide is going flat.

    K-State and Oregon will play for the Championship!

  23. pedagoguish says: Nov 5, 2012 9:55 PM

    Greg is right. The tide is flowing against the Crimson. LSU exposed them as a less-than-perfect team.

    Many people in America think Oregon is a better team than Alabama. I’m sure there are others that think K State is better, or the Fighting Irish, or even Louisville.

    Its time that sports writers and coaches had the courage of their convictions and voted their consciences instead of lockstepping with everyone else. I keep hearing this nonsense about “defending national champions.” Sorry, but the national champions graduated last year. Its time that the voters looked at THIS year’s teams, and voted based on who they believe is best NOW!

    It would be shameful if a superior team were left out of the national champion picture because of some insupportable deference to the SEC. Alabama has done nothing to prove they are any better than several quality teams. If writers and coaches think there are better teams, they must vote them #1.

  24. Deb says: Nov 5, 2012 11:37 PM

    Well, peddy, that settles it. In an informal poll, you’ve determined that “many people in America” feel Oregon is a better team than the Tide. LOL

    Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t we just let the season conclude and see what happens? If it ended today, Alabama and Oregon would play for the title, and you’d have the opportunity to prove your point. If the Tide is in a slide, we’ll know that by season’s end … just as we’ll know whether Oregon wins out.

    Don’t worry … be happy.

  25. rtfox says: Nov 6, 2012 12:05 AM

    Since the ducks are not a superior team, they have nothing to worry about.

  26. rtfox says: Nov 6, 2012 12:07 AM

    The only thing the crack attack has proven is that they give up alooooot of points.

  27. pedagoguish says: Nov 7, 2012 6:39 PM

    Dear, dear Pompous Deb. Always the reasonable one, giving due deference to the opponent; always the rational wait for future events to decide final outcomes.

    How disappointing. Where’s your vehemence, Deb? It’s no fun talking at you if you can’t get excited about things. You’re the Heart of Dixie! Where’s your regional pride? You should be hating LSU, hating Texas, and now hating us socialist tree huggers from the Northwest.

    I guess I’ll drown my disappointment in a stiff latte. Wish I could find some moonshine to give it a kick. You wouldn’t happen to know where I can get some, would ya?

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