Put 10 people in a room and ask, "Who is the best team in college football?" More than half should say Alabama without hesitation. An overwhelming majority of The Associated Press voters picked Alabama as the top team in the country, as the Tide received 58 of 60 first-place votes in the preseason poll.
Not too shabby, but those two voters are the reason Alabama wasn't the first unanimous No. 1 selection in a preseason poll.
Was it right? Do these voters have a valid point picking against Alabama? Or did they make their selection just to add a little excitement by throwing a monkey wrench into the rankings?
Whatever the reason, there are two voters who believe Alabama is not the team to beat this season.
Affiliation: Gannett News Services/Louisiana Newspapers
An LSU writer trolling Alabama? No way!
Glenn Guilbeau had the most surprising ballot of anyone, as he picked...
Wait for it...
Georgia as the top team in the country.
The team that came up short in last year's SEC Championship Game (32-28) against Alabama. The team that returns only three defensive starters and is led by a quarterback who is 4-10 in his career against ranked opponents.
Yep, that's the best team in the country, according to Guilbeau.
To be fair, Georgia does return 10 starters on an offense that may be the best in the country. A return trip to the SEC Championship Game is certainly not out of the question, and neither is a national championship bid.
Still, most would have a hard time making a case for Georgia being a more complete team than Alabama heading into the season. However, that didn't stop Guilbeau from explaining his reasoning and making a case against Alabama.
Affiliation: Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette
It's quite clear what the deal is with Bob Asmussen.
As somebody who covers Illinois football, he completely loyal to the Big Ten. Most wouldn't even put the Fighting Illini in the top 50, so Asmussen must go with the next available option. In this case, it happens to be Ohio State.
The Buckeyes aren't a bad selection, as many have them running the table and playing in the national championship game. You can't win the crystal football without at least qualifying for the big game, and the odds are on their side in a watered-down Big Ten.
This was a solid pick.
However, Asmussen is the same voter who picked Michigan No. 1 in last year's preseason AP poll. The Wolverines didn't make him look good by finishing 8-5, but that's clearly not enough for him to turn his back on the Big Ten.
Asmussen caught up with Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer to explain his reasoning:
People picked Alabama because it's easy, Asmussen said. Who's been better than Alabama the last four or five years? Nobody. So it's easy to vote for them. It's not so easy to pick the Buckeyes. But I had them No. 1 in the spring. I thought about this way back then, and I thought that they have to be No. 1.
At least Ohio State has a chance to make him look good with a schedule that includes only three ranked teams: Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan.