Alabama should be No. 1, and shame on any voter who didn’t roll with the Tide after the first week of the college football season.
This shouldn’t have been difficult. You could see this coming. Whichever team won the Alabama-Michigan game in Arlington deserved to sit at the top after the first week. Either way, the winner would have the best victory in college football.
And then Alabama added all kinds of exclamation points to that with its 41-14 victory over the Wolverines.
A no-brainer, right?
Well, 15 of the 60 voters in the AP poll still thought another team deserved the No. 1 nod. Eleven picked USC. Four went with LSU. Those are two fine teams, but when you add up these two things — what we thought we knew in the preseason plus the first-week results — Alabama is No. 1 in a landslide.
Now, as further results come in, that calculus can change. Everything is all leading up to Nov. 3 — that’s when Alabama is at LSU, and Oregon is at USC.
As long as it keeps winning, the Tide will still be No. 1 on Nov. 3. No team is going to overtake Alabama on the strength-of-schedule argument: In addition to the neutral-site win over Michigan, the Tide still has to face Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee on the road before heading to Baton Rouge.
Elsewhere in the national rankings…
Boise State, which was at No. 24, dropped out of the Top 25 after losing a close game at Michigan State. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. There shouldn’t be poll punishment after losing to a highly-ranked team on the road (and beating the point spread in the process).
Some voters greatly dropped Oklahoma after its close call at UTEP, with the Sooners appearing at No. 17 on two ballots. No doubt, that was an uneasy result for OU, but that seems to be an overreaction. Same thing for Michigan.
The Wolverines got boatraced by Alabama on a day when Alabama would have creamed 99 percent of the rest of the teams in the country. And Michigan didn’t have star tailback Fitz Toussaint. Falling from No. 8 to No. 19 seems a bit much. We don’t see much fundamentally wrong with Michigan, other than it had the misfortune of being the first team to play Alabama this season.
Here is my Week 1 ballot for the AP. Have at it:
7. Florida State
8. West Virginia
9. Michigan State
10. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
17. Ohio State
18. Oklahoma State
21. Kansas State
24. Boise State
Feel free to comment on Alabama and any other teams that you might have been impressed by during the Week One games.