Some voters in the Associated Press college football poll said before Monday night’s BCS national championship game that they might vote LSU as the national champion even with a loss to Alabama considering the Tigers won at the Tide during the season and beat a record eight ranked teams during the year.
Well, Alabama’s 21-0 domination on Monday ended any thoughts of that.
Alabama received 55 first-place votes in the final Associated Press poll after Monday night’s victory at the Superdome in New Orleans. The AP final top 10: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Arkansas, USC, Stanford, Boise State, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
The USA Today poll, conducted by voting coaches, is contractually bound to name the BCS winner its national champion. The AP poll is not bound by that rule and can name an independent champion. It happened in 2003 when LSU won the BCS title game but USC earned the AP trophy.
No. 3 Oklahoma State was hoping a close Alabama win might convince enough voters to produce a split result. There was also a chance an ugly Alabama win might keep LSU at No.1. The Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide, 9-6, in the regular season matchup.
But LSU received only one first-place AP vote while Oklahoma State received four. Coach Nick Saban led Alabama to its second AP title in the last three years and joined Bear Bryant (five) as Crimson Tide coaches with multiple championships.
It wasn’t just that the Crimson Tide won, but the way they won, that ended the split title debate. While Alabama’s 384 yards of offense resulted in only one touchdown, its dominant defense held LSU to only 92 yards and allowed the Tigers to cross midfield only once.
Asked whether his team still deserved consideration for a No. 1 vote, LSU coach Les Miles was noncommittal.
“The only thing I can tell you is, we think we had a great year,” Miles said. “This football team had as great a run as anybody in the country, playing eight nationally ranked teams. I think this team has accomplished a lot. I think that’s for the voters to decide.”
The final USA Today coaches’ poll top 10: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Arkansas, Boise State, Stanford, South Carolina, Michigan and Michigan State.
Final AP poll (with first-place votes):
1. Alabama (59)
2. LSU (1)
3. Oklahoma State (4)
8. Boise State
9. South Carolina
11. Michigan State
15. Kansas State
17. West Virginia
20. Southern Miss
21. Virginia Tech
23. Florida State
Others receiving votes: BYU, Auburn, Northern Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Rutgers, North Dakota, Penn State, Virginia