In the latest Associated Press poll, the top two spots belong to No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama. The 60 voters all gave their No. 1 votes to the Fighting Irish, and they were right in doing so.
Making Notre Dame the second team to become an undisputed No. 1 in the AP poll this year was the right move, since Alabama didn’t defeat a relatively good team leading up to this week’s poll.
Plus, before Kansas State and Oregon lost this weekend, the Crimson Tide had lost at home to Texas A&M, 29-24, and barely survived on the road at LSU, winning 21-17.
In fact, the last dominant victory for this Alabama squad was almost a month ago when the Tide crushed then-No. 11 Mississippi State, 38-7. However, even that victory doesn’t look that impressive. After that game, the Bulldogs lost their next two by a combined score of 75-30.
Over that same four-week span, Notre Dame has continued to impress. They did struggle at home against Pittsburgh, winning 29-26 in three overtimes, but the Fighting Irish have been dominant overall, with a combined margin of victory of plus-73.
Throughout 11 games, Notre Dame has the better record, has defeated more ranked opponents and has the better defense.
AP voter Jon Wilner wrote on his blog “College Hotline” regarding why he voted Notre Dame over Alabama:
I would have no problem ranking a one-loss team over an undefeated team if warranted by a disparity in schedule strength, even at this point in the season.
But with wins over wins over 9-2 Stanford, 8-2 Oklahoma and 8-3 Michigan, Notre Dame’s resume matches up favorably with the best of the one- and two-loss teams.
At the end of the day, if both of these teams win each of their final games, then we will get to see who the best team in college football is. For now, though, Notre Dame has done enough to deserve the 60 votes it got in the latest AP poll.
Alabama has been great this year, but they still have some things left to prove this season.