Stewart Mandel: 'Bama claims No. 1, while Texas Tech jumps up three spots - Sports Illustrated

'Bama claims No. 1, while Texas Tech jumps up three spots

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Fans get understandably defensive when they see their team get "dropped" by the pollsters in spite of a win, but there's a difference between being "dropped" and getting "passed by."

It's the latter that caused Oklahoma to fall from fourth to sixth on my ballot this week despite a perfectly impressive rout of Nebraska. While the Sooners beat up on another mediocre opponent, Florida (previously No. 5) did the same against 7-1 Georgia and Texas Tech (previously No. 6) knocked off No. 1 Texas. Both moved into my top four.

I suppose I could have followed the lead of the voters in the coaches polls and dropped the defeated Longhorns below the Sooners (by three spots, no less) -- but that's just plain idiotic. Have the Sooners gotten that much better and/or the 'Horns that much worse in the three weeks since Texas beat Oklahoma? Since that game, the 'Horns have beaten two other highly ranked foes and lost on a last-second touchdown to another. I highly doubt it.

That said, trying to keep the various Big 12 South teams in order of their head-to-head results will soon become impossible. What happens if Oklahoma State beats Texas Tech on Saturday? The Cowboys, 'Horns and Red Raiders will all have the same record and all be 1-1 against each other. Meanwhile, Oklahoma still has dates remaining with both OSU and Texas Tech.

Who knows? By the time all is said and done, the Sooners may well be back atop the Big 12's poll entrants.

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Got a different view than Stew?