AP College Football Poll: Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise — Tua Tagovailoa’s injury affected Alabama’s ranking

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field after injuring his hip against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., on Saturday. / Associated Press photo by Rogelio V. Solis

Since Janet Jackson is in town this week, let’s pose that question everybody’s always got on their mind for everyone else in their life, whether they actually ever voice it or not.

What have you done for me lately?

That’s a big one for me when filling out the AP Top 25 ballot each week.

Some take it a step beyond that and also ask this: What can you do for me going forward? I usually don’t, but I did this time.

With Tua Tagovailoa done for the season after that brutal hit and resulting hip injury in the Tide’s 38-7 win at Mississippi State, it makes you wonder what’s the worse loss for Bama: Tua, or the one to LSU two weeks ago.

There’s a bit of exaggeration there, but just a tad.

I heard a lot of pundits last night saying Bama shouldn’t be penalized in the rankings after winning a game but losing a star QB. I guess not a lot of them are AP voters, because that’s exactly what we did — knocking the Tide down to No. 5 from No. 4 (and in my case, from No. 3).

It will be interesting to see how the voters who matter — the College Football Playoff committee — handles this situation when its rankings come out on Tuesday.

Other poll musings:
>> Oklahoma good because it came back from 25 down to beat Baylor, or Oklahoma bad because it HAD to come back from 25 down to beat Baylor? I honestly don’t know. What I do know for sure now is Baylor was lucky to be unbeaten, and its luck finally ran out.

>> Texas A&M certainly deserves its return to the Top 25 despite three losses. They were to Clemson, Alabama and Auburn. The Aggies stay might not be long, however, considering they finish up at Georgia and at LSU; but they certainly have a chance to play the spoiler role and be a factor in who ends up in the CFP.

>> I promise, I am not trying to be different. And I know Mike Ehrmantrout in “Breaking Bad” was right when he told Walter White, “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.”

But Iowa beat Minnesota. UNDEFEATED Minnesota, and among our standing orders from the AP honchos is to give head-to-head results strong consideration when putting these teams in order. So I slotted the Hawkeyes at No. 14 (after not even ranking this three-loss crew the previous week), and the Gophers below them at 16th.

Apparently, that memo made it to the Palm Beach Post’s representative, too. Smart guy, that Tom D’Angelo. He has the Hawkeyes at No. 14 and the Gophers at No. 15.

Steve Wiseman of the Herald-Sun in Durham, NC lives up to his surname, also taking the head-to-head thing seriously. But on his ballot, this week, that means Minnesota stays ahead of Penn State, and Iowa gets No. 15.

Yes, it’s usually impossible — or ludicrous to even try — to put every team above every other team that they have beaten.

I considered two other things: 1) Here’s Janet again — and not for the last time — what have you done for me lately? It’s just by one week, but Iowa’s win over Minnesota is more recent than Minnesota’s over Penn State, and, 2) The A&M Factor: Quality losses. Iowa has three Ls … BUT: They are by a combined 14 points to Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State.

We find out who the boss of the very top of the Big Ten is (at least for now) when Penn State and Ohio State tangle Saturday. But even up to New Year’s Day, the rest of that conference’s upper echelon figures to be as tangled as that slinky you give your 5-year-old for Christmas.

>> There was carnage at the fringe of the consensus Top 25 on Saturday, and especially on mine as Navy, Louisiana Tech, Texas and Kansas State all bit the dust.

That allowed room for richly deserving Virginia Tech, which is better than its 7-3 mark, the above mentioned Texas A&M, which has a tougher football schedule than the daily grind of an Annapolis Midshipmen — and speaking of Navy, it could climb right back into the rankings as it plays No. 21 SMU this week … as a favorite.

USC looked so good in dismantling Cal that I strongly considered putting the Trojans in while hunting for No. 25. But even with all the what have you done for me lately talk (warned you about the heavy rotation), four losses is still four losses. So Oklahoma State gets that last spot, squeaking by Air Force, Pitt and nearly half the rest of the FBS and even FCS studs South Dakota State. But, as I told you, I’m not TRYING to be different.

Here’s how the entire AP panel voted this week:
1. LSU (1)
2. Ohio State (2)
3. Clemson (3)
4. Georgia (5)
5. Alabama (4)
6. Oregon (6)
7. Utah (8)
8. Oklahoma (10)
9. Penn State (9)
10. Florida (11)
11. Minnesota (7)
12. Michigan (14)
13. Baylor (12)
14. Wisconsin (15)
15. Notre Dame (16)
16. Auburn (13)
17. Cincinnati (17)
18. Memphis (18)
19. Iowa (23)
20. Boise State (19)
21. Southern Methodist (20)
22. Oklahoma State (25)
23. Appalachian State (NR)
24. Texas A&M (NR)
25. Virginia Tech (NR)
Dropped out: Navy (21), Texas (22), Indiana (24),
Also receiving votes: Indiana, Iowa State, Virginia, Navy, Air Force Pittsburgh, San Diego State, USC, Washington, Texas, Illinois, North Dakota State

Here’s the ballot I submitted:
1. LSU (1)
2. Ohio State (2)
3. Clemson (4)
4. Georgia (6)
5. Alabama (3)
6. Oregon (7)
7. Oklahoma (10)
8. Penn State (9)
9. Utah (13)
10. Florida (11)
11. Baylor (8)
12. Wisconsin (12)
13. Michigan (13)
14. Iowa (NR)
15. Auburn (15)
16. Minnesota (5)
17. Notre Dame (17)
18. Memphis (18)
19. Cincinnati (16)
20. Boise State (21)
21. Southern Methodist (19)
22. Appalachian State (25)
23. Texas A&M (NR)
24. Virginia Tech (NR)
25. Oklahoma State (NR)
Dropped out: Navy (21), Lousiana Tech (22), Texas (23), Kansas State (24)


  1. Aiea 7 November 19, 2019 6:23 pm

    i totally agree with ferd lewis. saban should have taken tua out before he got hurt. they were leading 35-7. tua was limping around so he could not escape the rush of the other team (if he was fully health he would have likely avoided the rush). saban was negligent is allowing tua to play hurt and risk more injury. saban is known to play his players into the ground and the then replace them with someone else. he sees the players as tools, not people. he does not care about their health and safety. he recommended that tua got the ankle operation so he could get back to playing sooner. but doctors don’t believe that surgery will help in the long run, it hurt than help. the best remedy for ankle injuries is rest and rehab, but that would have taken 2 months or more and saban didn’t want to wait. if this surgery is not fully successful and tua has long term damage where it will affect his playing ability. saban and alabama should be held accountable, for disregarding the health and safety of tua. the lawyers should take over.

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