Crimson Tide five votes short of being unanimous pick in AP poll

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NEW ORLEANS — Alabama’s convincing victory in the BCS championship wasn’t enough to convince all 60 Associated Press college football poll voters that the Crimson Tide is No. 1.

Four members of the media panel had Oklahoma State at No. 1, and Erik Gee, of KNML-AM in Albuquerque, N.M., picked Louisiana State University — as he said he would before the game.

“I was a lot closer than I thought I would be to changing my mind,” Gee said during a telephone interview Tuesday. “I don’t think I necessarily felt good about voting for LSU. But I also didn’t feel good about voting for Alabama. I stared at the computer for 10 minutes. It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Alabama (12-1) was an overwhelming No. 1 in the final Top 25, receiving 55 votes. LSU (13-1), which beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime on the road in November and played a much tougher schedule than the Tide, finished second and Oklahoma State (12-1) was third.

The USA Today coaches’ poll had the same top three, but those voters are contractually obligated to put the winner of the BCS title game No. 1 on their ballots. While there have been occasions when coaches have ignored the rule, it was not the case this season. Alabama received all 59 first-place votes.

Only once in the past five years has the final AP No. 1 been unanimous. Unbeaten Alabama received all 60 first-place votes after the 2009 season.

The Crimson Tide’s 21-0 victory Monday night at the Superdome didn’t sway Gee, but it did persuade two other AP voters who had said they expected to vote LSU (13-1) No. 1 even if the Tigers lost.

“The score says it all,” Joe Giglio, of the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., said in an e-mail early Tuesday morning.

Giglio ended up voting Alabama No. 1.

Seth Emerson, of The Macon Telegraph, was also leaning hard toward keeping LSU in the top spot.

“My thinking was I was going to keep the Tigers No. 1 unless they got trounced – and they did,” he said.

Emerson, however, ended up giving Oklahoma State his first-place vote, along with Matt Markey, of The Toledo Blade in Ohio, Steve Conroy, of the Boston Herald, and Scott Wolf, of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Big 12 champion Oklahoma State finished its season with a 41-38 overtime victory against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl last week, and many fans believed the Cowboys should have played LSU instead of Alabama getting a second chance to beat its Southeastern Conference rival.

But when the final BCS standings were posted in December, the Tide was second behind LSU and just ahead of Oklahoma State. The AP Top 25 isn’t part of the formula used to determine the championship matchup.

Emerson had Oklahoma State second and Alabama third in his final regular-season rankings, and said the Cowboys had done enough to stay ahead of the Tide after both won bowl games.

“OSU wins and drops a spot?” he said.

Emerson said Oklahoma State had more quality victories than Alabama, and as good as the Tide is defensively, the Cowboys were as impressive on offensive.

PLUS-ONE MODEL POSSIBLE

NEW ORLEANS — College football leaders, including Big Ten commissioner and staunch playoff opponent Jim Delany, are open to considering the idea of turning the Bowl Championship Series into a four-team playoff.

The commissioners from the 11 FBS conferences met Tuesday at a hotel in New Orleans to exchange ideas about what the system for crowning a national champion will be starting in the 2014 season. BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said 50 to 60 possibilities for various changes were presented. He said the process will be deliberate, and he expects it will take between five and seven meetings before July 4 to come to a decision.

“They have a lot of cans to kick down the road,” Hancock said. “This will not play well on Twitter.”

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said ideas were neither ranked nor ruled out.

“I think people realize there are flaws in the current system and people are ready to think creatively about ways to improve it,” he said.

One of the ideas is a four-team playoff called a plus-one model that would create two national semifinals and a championship game played a week later. The idea was proposed in 2008 by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and supported by the ACC’s John Swofford, but was shot down by the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big East, Big 12 and Notre Dame.

This time, there will be a serious discussion about the plus-one.

– Associated Press

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wtinney
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wtinney 01/11/12 - 03:43 am
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Okay, let's have a mental

Okay, let's have a mental exercise here concerning Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

First, LSU. LSU had an impressive record going into the BCS national championship bowl game. LSU was 13-0 including a November win over Alabama (9-6 score) and the conference championship game win over Georgia (42-10 - a thumping). The number of ranked teams they played (at the time they played them) was 8 out of those 13 (3 were in the top 3). After the BCS championship bowl, they were 13-1 having played 9 out of the 14 ranked, 4 out of 14 in the top 3). LSU pumelled their opponents all season long by two touchdowns or more except for Mississippi State and Alabama. LSU went undefeated in the regular season, won their conference championship, but lost the BCS championship bowl game.

Second, Alabama. Alabama had an impressive record going into the BCS championship bowl game at 11-1 with their only loss handed to them by LSU (6-9 score) on Nov. 5. In that game, Alabama missed four field goals with three of them coming within "easy kicking distance". They played 4 ranked teams and only 1 team ranked in the top 3 out of the 12 played before the BCS championship game. All wins came at two touchdown differences or more. In this case, Alabama dominated their opponents just as much as LSU did. Alabama did not play in the conference championship because Alabama and LSU are in the same division of the same conference therefore, Alabama had 1 week more in preparation time and 1 game less in chances of running down/hurting players. Alabama went into the BCS championship bowl game with one loss, not having to play a conference championship, and won the national championship in head to head competition with LSU with a 21-0 thumping.

Third, Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State had an impressive record going into their bowl game with Stanford which stood at 11-1. Where things start getting shaky is that Oklahoma State played only 4 ranked teams during the regular season, did not play a top 3 team at all, and were handed their only loss by Iowa State (an unranked team). Given this and given the Iowa State loss came so late in the season (Nov. 18), there was absolutely no way Oklahoma State could be considered the second best team to go up against LSU. This is true even though Oklahoma State blew out their competition except for Texas A&M (which, incidentally, is the highest ranked team they played at #8 all season - beating them only by 1 point [30-29]), No. 17 (at the time) Kansas State (52-45) and, of course, the ones they lost to, unranked Iowa State (31-37). This means half the ranked teams they played posed close games with Oklahoma State while both Alabama and LSU dominated most of the ranked teams they played - as well as played more that were higher ranked on average. Oklahoma State had a VERY weak case to even play LSU in the national championship game.

Fourth, Stanford. Stanford, after the regular season, had an impressive record going into their bowl game with Oklahoma State. A lot can be said about excitement and emotion that might have been different if they were picked to go up against LSU in the championship game. Still, the end result of the regular season speaks volumes as to why they were not picked. Stanford achieved 11-1 record during the regular season but did not win their division because Oregon (12-2) also had only one loss in conference play (8-1) but lost the head to head battle with Oregon 30-53 - a thumping. Stanford played only 4 ranked teams (3 of which were ranked between 20 and 25) and no top 3 teams. They did play Oregon when they were 6 and, as you know, lost that game horrifically. Technically, Stanford has a pretty weak resume. Then they lost their bowl game to Oklahoma State 38-41. If Stanford and Oklahoma State was a close bowl game, and it was, that says volumes to the fact that neither team really was in the class of Alabama and LSU, period.

There was no other choice but Alabama vs. LSU in the BCS national championship game. Alabama was the best choice and they thumped LSU 21 - 0. Nuff said, end of story!

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