Alabama Football: The AP Poll and unequal Power Fives

Alabama Football is No.2 in the latest AP Poll. The week two poll also shows the Power Fives are far from equal.

Even without Alabama football, it was quite a weekend. The Sun Belt Conference showed why college football is great, beyond being in National Championship contention. What Arkansas State pulled off in upsetting Kansas State was stunning. The Red Wolves were missing 20 players due to a quarantine. Eight of them were starters.

The game-winning touchdown for the Red Wolves was thrown by former Alabama football player, Layne Hatcher. Hatcher’s Tide, game role was forever destined to be signaling plays from the sideline. He was a star on Saturday and his heroics staggered the Big 12 Conference.

Kansas State had the most shocking Big 12 loss on Saturday. The University of Kansas had the most embarrassing one. The Jayhawks were man-handled by the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers are now 2-0 in Lawrence, KS, beating the Jayhawks 12-7 in 2019 and 38-23 on Saturday. Given Kansas was favored by nearly a touchdown, the 15-point Coastal Carolina victory was impressive.

The Sun Belt trifecta was accomplished by former Alabama football assistant, Billy Napier. His Ragin’ Cajuns team was 11-3, last season, including a 53-3 beatdown of Troy in the Lending Tree Bowl.

Napier’s team was almost a two-touchdown dog, traveling to Ames, IA. At No. 23 in the preseason AP Poll, the Cyclones were perhaps overrated. Take nothing away from the Cajuns and their decisive 31-14 victory. It was Louisiana’s first-ever, road win over a Top 25 opponent. In the updated AP Poll released Sunday, the Ragin’ Cajuns came in at No. 19. The Louisiana program was last in the AP Top 25, in 1943, per College Poll Archive.

Alabama Football, the SEC and Latest Polls

In the week two AP Poll, the SEC claimed eight of the 25 slots. The Alabama Crimson Tide moved to No. 2 with Ohio State and other Big Ten and Pac 12 schools not included. The Georgia Bulldogs are at No. 4, closely followed by the Florida Gators at No. 5 and LSU at No. 6. Two more spots down are Auburn at No. 8 and two spots lower, TAMU at No. 10. Six of the Top 10 teams are from the SEC.

In the Top 10, the Big 12 has Oklahoma at No. 3 and Texas at No. 9. The ACC also has two Top 10 teams. Clemson is ranked No. 1 and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are No. 7.

In the Top 25, the SEC adds Tennessee at No. 15 and Kentucky at No. 23. Oklahoma State is the Big 12’s third Top 25 team at No. 11. Three more ACC teams joined the Top 25, with North Carolina at No. 12, Miami at No. 17 and Virginia Tech at No. 20.

The Sun Belt Conference, fresh off big weekend wins, has Louisiana at No. 19 and Appalachian State at No. 24.

The Coaches Poll has similar results, with six SEC teams in the Top 10.

Maybe the rest of college football will understand what Alabama football fans have long known. All Power Fives are not equal. Six Top 10 teams compared to two for the Big 12 and the ACC, make the point. If Notre Dame was again competing as an independent, it would be only one ACC team. The bottom line is irrefutable. Power Five Conference Champions are not equal and the CFB Playoff Selection Committee should never pretend they are.

Next: Preseason All-American predictions favor the Tide

As the Big Ten appears poised to commence play in October, it is worth repeating no team with a less than 10-game season should qualify for the CFB Playoff.