Meet the 4 AP Top 25 Voters Who Believe Oregon Should Be No. 1 over Alabama

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich (center) reacts in the second half. The Ducks defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 59-10 at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If you put 60 people in a room, 56 of them will say Alabama is the best college football team in the country. That's what the latest AP Poll indicates.

Most are still strong believers in the Crimson Tide, but there are four voters who have shied away from Nick Saban and company.

The team of the week for the oddballs is Oregon. The always flashy Ducks are sitting pretty with a 3-0 record and an offense that is averaging 61.3 points per game.

Let's meet the four voters who feel that Oregon is the top team or that Alabama has slipped a little.


Mitch Vingle

Affiliation: The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette


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Vingle is used to seeing an explosive offense in West Virginia, so it's easy to see why he'd fall in love with the Ducks. He can relate to the video game numbers that Oregon produces on a weekly basis.

The problem is that this year's Mountaineers team isn't living up to past success, so Oregon is obviously the next best choice.

Of course, that likely wasn't the reason Vingle snubbed Alabama from it's top spot. He's been high on Oregon for much of the season, even ranking the Ducks No. 1 after the first week. After the Tide sleep-walked against Virginia Tech, it's certainly understandable.

Vingle simply believes Oregon is the better team. The fact that the offense scores a truckload of points is just a bonus.


Mike Griffith



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Griffith is a Michigan writer, so he's just holding a grudge against Alabama after the Tide pounded the Wolverines in last year's season opener. Not really. Most reasonable voters don't let feelings get in the way, and Griffith was actually kind enough to explain his rankings.

Here's what he wrote in his Sunday column, which you can read here:

I've covered Alabama football enough to understand winning ugly, but this season's version of the Tide simply hasn't earned the stripe down the middle of its helmet quite yet.

Oregon has looked better than any other team in the country this season, so I'm elevating the Ducks to the top perch on my poll. 

If there was a four-team playoff next weekend, I believe Oregon would win it.

Oh, he's not going to make many friends in Alabama.


Josh Kendall

Affiliation: The State, Columbia S.C.


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Can't blame bias when it comes to Kendall's poll. He's an SEC guy who covers South Carolina. Granted, the Gamecocks aren't exactly Alabama but don't SEC guys usually stick together? He did make a bold statement by moving LSU up to No. 4 but as far as Alabama, he isn't seeing the same thing that other folks are witnessing.

In fact, Kendall doesn't even believe that the SEC will win a national championship this season, which he wrote in a recent column:

What I think the trend means more immediately is that the SEC’s run of national titles will end this year. Why? The SEC has never been as good at offense as team’s like Oregon. The league separated itself come title time by being able to defend those offenses better than people in other parts of the country. Those days are looking like history now, and, as good as the SEC is playing offense these days, it still doesn’t have anything like what the Ducks are doing this year.

While most may not go as far as to say the SEC won't add another crystal football to the trophy case, it's quite clear who Kendall likes this early in the season.


Dave Reardon

Affiliation: Honolulu Star-Advertiser


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Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

It's easy to understand why Reardon wanted to spark a little controversy. He's all the way in Hawaii! Not only is he probably tired of hitting the waves during his off days, but he's also untouchable when it comes to Alabama fans.

Yes, Alabama fans travel well, but when was the last time they had a reason to visit Hawaii during the season? They don't have time for that.

All kidding aside, some may assume that voters go against the grain for attention, but Reardon has been an Oregon supporter for much of this season. He favored the Ducks in Week 3 and was the only voter to side with Oregon last week.

Unless the Ducks show a chink in the armor, it's safe to assume Reardon will continue to have Oregon as the top team in the country.