The preseason estimation of the coaches in the USA Today poll is out and there were not many surprises at the top Alabama got 55 of the 59 first-place votes but only 77 more total points than No. 2 Ohio State.
Just a reminder: Nick Saban is a voter in the poll and he previously said he didn’t think Alabama should be voted the preseason No. 1. So, we might have an idea where one of the four Ohio State votes originated.
Overall, there are six SEC schools in the top 25 and five of Alabama’s opponents on the list.
Rank; Team (first-place votes); 2009 record; Points; Final 2009 rank
1. Alabama (55); 14-0; 1,469; 1
2. Ohio State (4); 11-2; 1,392; 5
3. Florida; 13-1; 1,245; 3
4. Texas; 13-1; 1,240; 2
5. Boise State; 14-0; 1,215; 4
6. Virginia Tech; 10-3; 1,052; 10
7. TCU; 12-1; 1,051; 6
8. Oklahoma; 8-5; 1,035; NR
9. Nebraska; 10-4; 1,001; 14
10. Iowa; 11-2; 952; 7
11. Oregon; 10-3; 940; 11
12. Wisconsin; 10-3; 778; 16
13. Miami (Fla.); 9-4; 728; 19
14. Penn State; 11-2; 508; 8
15. Pittsburgh; 10-3; 492; 15
16. LSU; 9-4; 476; 17
17. Georgia Tech; 11-3; 455; 13
18. North Carolina; 8-5; 445; NR
19. Arkansas; 8-5; 438; NR
20. Florida State; 7-6; 374; NR
21. Georgia; 8-5; 312; NR
22. Oregon State; 8-5; 263; NR
23. Auburn; 8-5; 260; NR
24t. Utah; 10-3; 169; 18
24t. West Virginia; 9-4; 169; 22
Others receiving votes
Cincinnati (12-1) 135; Houston (10-4) 76; Brigham Young (11-2) 66; Arizona (8-5) 65; Ole Miss(9-4) 48; Clemson (9-5) 44; Stanford (8-5) 41; Connecticut (8-5) 40; Notre Dame (6-6) 38; South Carolina (7-6) 38; Washington (5-7) 26; Missouri (8-5) 23; Navy (10-4) 12; Oklahoma State (9-4) 11; Boston College (8-5) 10; Michigan State (6-7) 10; Arizona State (4-8) 6; California (8-5) 6; Texas Tech (9-4) 5; South Florida (8-5) 4; Texas A&M (6-7) 3; Northwestern (8-5) 2; Temple (9-4) 2; Central Michigan (12-2) 1; Mississippi State (5-7) 1; Nevada (8-5) 1; Northern Illinois (7-6) 1; Southern Methodist (8-5) 1.
After allowing the last poll question to fester on the blog for well over a month, I present a new one with an added feature. Feel free to leave comments on this new one if the mood strikes you.
Enjoy, but play nice.
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10:20 a.m. UPDATE: Ole Miss and LSU will begin at 11 a.m. and all games will be seven innings today. That will be interesting to see how that helps teams who played Friday and have less bullpen support.
The first game of the SEC baseball tournament’s semifinal Saturday is already a half hour behind schedule, so we could be in for another marathon day. Look at the radar and weather forecast, and it looks even worse for what could be two or three or four games (depending on if winner’s bracket teams get victories in the first game).
This will give Florida a little more time to rest before meeting Alabama. The Gators didn’t finish off their win over Vanderbilt until a few minutes past midnight this morning, so I’m sure they are happy to see the tarp covering the Regions Park infield this morning.
The Alabama/Florida semifinal will start 30 minutes after conclusion of the LSU/Ole Miss game that was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m. Stay tuned.
In other SEC news, check out this New York Times story detailing potential NCAA troubles for Kentucky involving Birmingham product Eric Bledsoe.
And now, the Bama Blog humorous video of the day and one of my personal favorites.
Photo by me
Lower seeds have certainly ruled the opening day of the SEC baseball tournament.
Of the three games already in the books, no favorites have succeeded. Seventh-seeded Alabama’s 7-1 beating of Auburn was followed by sixth-seeded Ole Miss’ win over No. 3 South Carolina.
The defending national champs, but No. 8 seed LSU just knocked off regular-season champion Florida in a spirited Game 3. Those LSU fans love them some LSU.
It’s now up to Arkansas, the four-seed, to keep it from being a white wash in the night cap against No. 5 Vanderbilt.
On a side note, let me say I’m not happy with the speed with which today’s action has been played. I didn’t leave Regions Park before 2:45 a.m. after covering Alabama in the last game of Day 1 last year. Mad maybe isn’t the word. More like bitter.
UPDATE: Vanderbilt completes the underdog sweep, 2-0 in the nightcap.
Well, this keeps getting stranger. Now, Urban Meyer is staying at Florida and will take a leave of absence?
That’s the latest in the Florida football saga. Thank goodness I don’t cover the Gators or I would have lost my mind already.
Here’s a link to the latest according to the Gainesville Sun and the Miami Herald and the USA Today.
Nothing earth shattering, but Nick Saban just released the following statement on the stunning and sudden resignation of Urban Meyer:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Urban and his family at this time. He is a first class coach and the success he’s had is unmatched in our profession, especially over the last five years at Florida.
We hope he is able to regain his health and have the opportunity to coach again in the future. Urban Meyer is a great person as well as a great coach, and the game of college football is better with him as a part of it.”
In case you haven’t heard, here is the first Associated Press story just put out on the breaking news story of the day/year.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was admitted to a hospital because of chest pains following the Southeastern Conference championship game, is stepping down because of health concerns.
Meyer resigned Saturday, calling it quits after five seasons in Gainesville and two national titles. He leaves Florida with a 56-10 record that includes a 32-8 mark in league play and a school-record 22-game winning streak snapped early this month against Alabama.
Meyer says he consulted with his family, his doctors, school president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley before deciding it is in his best interest to focus on his health and family.
Meyer will hold a news conference in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon and will coach his final game in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati on New Year’s Day.
Here are a few videos I captured on the field after the win. The first was immediately following the game. There were plenty of hugs and smiles. But at the end, Tim Tebow runs by with tears in his eyes.
I’ve been a little tied up writing a few hundred things for the print edition, but thought I should pass along the news in case you were depending on the Bama Blog for the final score.
Alabama 32, Florida 13
Next stop: The Rose Bowl and a meeting with Texas in the BCS title game.
I’m beat. Read more Sunday
For the second time this season, the Bama Blog is coming to you live from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. This time, it’s for the SEC Championship (a.k.a. the biggest game ever played in the history of humanity).
The gates are about to open to the shivering masses outside the chilly dome. The press box is filling up with all the big names in attendance.
Stay tuned for updates as they come available.
Wow. That’s bold. Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin is the special guest on ESPN’s popular Gameday television show. The boos are coming from those in crimson and in blue.
I wonder if the SEC knew that was coming? I can’t wait to see his final pick for today’s game.
Stay tuned for that.
UPDATE: Kiffin went with the Tide, and Corso threw on his Big Al mascot head.
Well, not really. The Gator quarterback did some moonlighting as a pass catcher, however, in Friday’s practice inside the Georgia Dome heading into Saturday’s SEC Championship.
Tim Tebow appeared to enjoy his time squaring off with an assistant coach playing the role many assume he would play in the NFL. Check out the two videos captured on my handy point and shoot camera. More to come later.
After taking a day away from the blog, I think today will be a busy one. I’m getting ready to hit the road for Atlanta where I’ll be bringing you all the day’s action as we prepare for the big game at 3 p.m. Saturday.
So stick with the Bama Blog for all the SEC Championship Game coverage you can handle.
It’s a soggy late Wednesday morning in Tuscaloosa. Here’s what’s making news:
- I wrote about ticket scalpers today. So did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s what they had to say.
- Guess what? SEC coaches think Tim Tebow is good. Read more here and here.
- Tony Barnhart of CBSsports.com offered this quality retrospective of the Saban era to this point.
- Check out this interesting look at the SEC Championship’s marquee linebackers, Rolando McClain and Brandon Spikes.
- Javier Arenas’ hometown paper, The Tampa Tribune, wrote about his quest for NCAA punt return records. Click this to read all about it.
- Last season’s fourth quarter belly flop taken by Alabama is the subject of much discussion this week. Read this for some of that.