We put together a poll committee to select our Top 10 on a weekly basis during the season. We wait until there are results to measure when selecting these teams. We will never have s preseason poll. While selecting this committee, we chose guys who have sideline and/or writing experience. Our goal was to have an experienced and educated committee. What we’ve gotten is a no-nonsense poll. It is vindictive and unforgiving. It is also a bit unpredictable. You might say our committee has lost control of the poll. We’re ok with that.
Clemson has dropped after a close call against North Carolina. Georgia has taken their place despite receiving 0 first place votes.
With Iowa, Penn State, Auburn, Florida, and Ohio State all facing serious challenges this week, expect more craziness in next week’s poll.
1. Georgia 43
2. Clemson 38 (1)
3. Alabama 37 (3)
4. LSU 29
5. Wisconsin 28
6. Auburn 27 (1)
7. Oklahoma 25
8. Ohio State 24
9. Penn State 9
10. Notre Dame 6
Also receiving votes:
Florida 3, Iowa 3, Boise State 1
Now that four weeks with of games have been played it is a bit safer to make some comparisons and evaluate where teams are so far this season.
The voters had a reasonable consensus on the top seven teams. After that, there is some interesting diversity of thought.
1) Clemson 49 (4)
2) Alabama 44 (1)
3) Georgia 41
4) LSU 31
5) Wisconsin 29
6) Oklahoma 26
7) Ohio State 23
8) Auburn 18
9) Texas 6
10) Notre Dame 5
Also receiving votes:
Penn St 3
Boise St 1
Sam Burnham, Curator
Oh, come on, Nick. Give us a break.
Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban is not happy with The tide of students rolling out of Bryant-Denny before the end of the ridiculous games the gridiron juggernaut insists on scheduling year, after year, after year, after year. Once the Tide goes up by 50 against West Monroe Christian Academy or whatever JV team they payed to come to Tuscaloosa, the parties back at the frat houses offer more entertainment and the kids leave en masse.
I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t stay to see that asinine stupidity either.
The phenomenon isn’t new, just as the terrible cupcake games aren’t new. In fact, the school is so bothered by it they developed an app students can download that tracks their movements. Students located in the stadium late in the game can earn reward points as an incentive to hang around.
I didn’t notice an exodus of Texas kids ducking out before the end of the LSU game this past Saturday. Maybe Texas has an app too. Maybe kids want to see a real ballgame.
Sports Illustrated quoted Saban as follows:
“Everybody wants to be a part of the team," he said. "Everybody wants to be No. 1, but everybody don't want to do what the beast does. Everybody wants to be the beast but they don't want to do what the beast do. So everybody's got to make a sacrifice. You want to be the lion? Everybody got to do something. Everybody wants to be No. 1. If I asked that whole student section, do you want to be No. 1? Nobody would hold their hand up and say I want to be No. 4. They would all say No. 1. But are they willing to do everything to be No. 1? That’s another question. You can ask them that. I don't know the answer."
”The Beast” that pulls its starters to the bench while leading New Mexico State 62-10 wants the students to stay on the front line rather than get pulled early.
Saban also told a press conference that the Tide is only scheduling the teams who are willing to play them. He says he’d love to play tough teams every week but can’t find anyone to play them.
Let’s take a look at that non conference schedule: Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Mississippi, Western Carolina. Despite playing in the much respected SEC West, their conference schedule includes Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. Mississippi State is decent but they’re not beating Bama. That leaves only LSU, Auburn, and Texas A&M as respectable opponents. That’s only three games out of 12. If they lose one of those the committee still will be trying to cram them into the CFB Playoff somewhere.
For comparison, this year gives us Oregon-Auburn, Texas A&M-Clemson, LSU-Texas, Georgia-Notre Dame. How are we to believe that no one will play Alabama? I don’t. That’s how.
Why risk it? If the committee will put you in the playoff despite having only two quality wins just grab a couple more cupcakes off the tray and blame your fans when they’re bored with your pitiful schedule.
Sam Burnham. Curator
People always seem to think I’m an old curmudgeon when it comes to all the fancy modern bling that is overtaking the football landscape like The Blob. Alternative uniforms, shoe deals, fake plastic grass, hype videos, you know, all that garbage. I hate that garbage.
My critics on the issue like to excuse it because of the ability of such nonsense to attract players or that this somehow makes the game fun. Those claims would have some merit if they just weren’t so ridiculous.
I present to you an inadvertent case study. Twelve Mighty Orphans by Jim Dent is probably the best book ever written about football. It is even better than Dent’s The Junction Boys. These two books were excellent not just because of the outstanding writing and research behind them but because of the amazing stories being documented. I don’t think there should be anyone coaching football in America today that hasn’t read Twelve Mighty Orphans.
This story takes place in Ft. Worth, Texas during the lean years of the Great Depression. “The Home” was The Masonic Home and School of Texas. This was an orphanage and school provided to the children of Freemasons who died while in good standing with the lodge. The size of the school meant that only about a dozen kids ever played football during any one season. Theirs was the first “Dirty Dozen,” the original “Friday Night Lights.”
The Mighty Mites, as the team came to be known, played in makeshift jerseys, often just shirts with painted on numbers. Their helmets were old and scarred. They didn’t even own a football when Rusty Russell became the coach. The most respected players were among those who woke early to walk down to the barn to milk the cows so the school would have milk for the day’s meals. The school owned no bus so Russell drove his kids to games in the old flatbed truck the home owned. The kids just piled onto the back and rode all over Texas.
You would think that these conditions would make it hard for these kids kids to compete. And you’d be wrong. When that flatbed came to a halt, it unloaded one of the best football teams in Texas history. Despite poor equipment, substandard transportation, and giving up about 30 pounds per man, The Mighty Mites wreaked havoc on their opponents. The Mites were mean, scrappy, tenacious, disciplined, and loyal. They didn’t have anything in this world but each other. And that’s how they played.
In the end, that’s why I hate the bling. Because it’s fake. It’s hollow. The characteristics I’ve listed above is what makes a great team. These kids developed a monumental following. They had a huge fan base that followed them everywhere. When some of their fans purchased fancy new uniforms, the boys turned them down. They didn’t want to be something they weren’t.
I don’t begrudge kids good equipment or even a decent place to play. It’s the focus that bothers me. Both my local high school team and my college alma mater unveiled new uniforms for their season openers. The two teams lost by a combined score of 65-26. Fancy uniforms don’t win football games. What wins football games is being mean, scrappy, tenacious, disciplined, and loyal.
I’m going to continue to support both of my teams. That’s just how I am. The high school coach blocked me on Twitter for publicly opposing his idea to replace the grass field with blue AstroTurf, which I politely explained was an abomination. I’d much rather him focus on the lessons that will help the kids not only win ballgames but will also make them successful in life, lessons that will make them men.
Oh, I almost forgot, several of those Mighty Mites made their way to big time college football and even to the NFL. These kids, even the ones who didn’t go pro, grew up to be successful people because of the lessons they learned playing ball for “The Home.” Not bad for a bunch of kids who literally had nothing but each other...which made them far wealthier than kids who just have fancy uniforms and fake plastic grass. It didn’t just make them wealthier, it made them a better team as well.
The Curator and other knowledgeable voices...mostly Southerners... on the subject