Are These 5 AP Voters Crazy for Picking Oregon No. 1 over Alabama?
The Alabama Crimson Tide have won three of the last four national championships and notched one of the most impressive wins of the year so far when they beat Texas A&M, but more and more media voters have been giving the No. 1 nod to the prolific but untested Oregon Ducks.
Of the 60 media voters in the Week 6 AP Top 25 poll, five chose the Ducks as the top team in the land, which is the most respect they have received all season long.
The Tide took the remaining 55 first-place votes, their lowest total of the season, despite slamming the door on Ole Miss' upset bid in a 25-0 Week 5 win.
While Alabama's past resume is outstanding, it might not be so crazy to view Oregon as college football's best team through the first five weeks of 2013.
Who would win head-to-head?
Honolulu Star-Advertiser writer Dave Reardon has been the captain of the Oregon bandwagon for most of the season and was the only voter to choose the Ducks the week after Alabama's win over Texas A&M.
While the immediate thought might be of West Coast bias in the case of Oregon, that just isn't the case. After Alabama's lackluster win over Colorado State in Week 4, Reardon was joined by a number of writers from the East.
West Virginia beat writer Mitch Vingle, Michigan writer Mike Griffith and South Carolina writer Josh Kendall all tabbed the Ducks as No. 1. This week, Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman joined the fold for UO as well.
So of the five AP voters to take Oregon at the top, none cover Pac-12 teams.
Griffith wrote that he simply doesn't believe Alabama could beat the Ducks, which is actually a reasonable belief.
My AP Top 25 ballot- Haters get in line, now open for business: http://t.co/3QxU3FvuFi— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) September 29, 2013
There is no doubt that the speedy Ducks pass the "eye test," and they have the numbers to back up that rapidity.
They currently rank No. 2 in scoring offense and No. 4 in scoring defense and have outscored their opponents by a combined 196 points, 239-43. By comparison, Alabama hasn't even scored 196 points in its four games. The Tide have outscored their foes by 82 points, 140-58.
UO was particularly impressive over the last two weeks, crushing BCS conference opponents Tennessee and Cal. While the Ducks' offensive success isn't out of the ordinary, their defensive play has been eye-opening.
Cal entered Week 5 averaging nearly 440 passing yards and 34 points per game, but Oregon held the Bears to just 176 passing yards and 16 points.
With results like that, the Ducks will continue to gain steam in the rankings, particularly if Alabama turns in bland victories through conference play.
The big tipping point will come in Week 11.
Oregon will travel to Stanford for a Thursday night clash on Nov. 7. Two days later, Alabama will host LSU in the biggest game left on its regular-season schedule.
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