continued from page If Auburn ….
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If Auburn and Alabama are both having a good year neither head coach wants to “help” his opponent. Coaches obviously know more football than writers, but external factors get in the way when they vote.
In 1990, you may remember there was a split vote with the AP selectors choosing Colorado, which beat Notre Dame 10-9 in the Orange Bowl with the Associated Press picking the Buffaloes as the No. 1 team.
Georgia Tech won the UPI Coaches Poll. Bobby Ross, the Tech coach, a fine person and a terrific coach, was popular with most coaches. Bill McCartney, the Colorado coach had become a religious zealot and was considered a hypocrite by many coaches, which certainly was a positive for Ross when the coaches voted.
This is not to debate whether Georgia Tech was deserving but to point out how fallible the coaches can be in such circumstances.
Fortunately, there is no question today about the validity of the national champion unless you want to take issue with the judgment by the playoff committee.
Go back to the week of the Georgia-Tennessee game last fall. Georgia’s depth, and offensive and defensive acumen didn’t strike a nerve with the committee. Tennessee’s high-powered offense did, however; a reminder that you can’t take the human element out of human selectors.
Now Georgia has an even bigger target on its back as all the talk from now until the dust settles on the season of ’23 will be, “Can the Bulldogs pull off a three-peat?” And unseat Minnesota as the last team to capture three consecutive titles?
Obviously, it is possible, but not probable.
However, the view here is that if anybody can, Kirby can.