National

Alabama back on top of Fan First Poll

MCT

WASHINGTON — Alabama (10-0) returned to the top of the Ipsos College Football Fan First Poll, fresh off its 27-21 overtime victory at No. 19 LSU (6-3).

Texas Tech (10-0), led by quarterback Graham Harrell's 456 yards passing and six touchdown passes, remained in second after its 56-20 trouncing of No. 11 Oklahoma State (8-2).

Texas moved up a spot to No. 3, rebounding from its loss to Texas Tech a week earlier to beat Baylor 45-21.

Rounding out the Top Five were Oklahoma (9-1), which, led by quarterback Sam Bradford's four touchdown passes, crushed Texas A&M 66-28, and former No. 1 Penn State (9-1), which lost to Iowa 24-23 on a last-second field goal.

Florida (8-1), the 42-14 winner over Vanderbilt, remained in sixth place. The Top 10 was rounded out by four teams that each moved up one spot: No. 7 Southern California (8-1), which beat California 17-3; No. 8 Utah (10-0), which survived No. 18 TCU (9-2) 13-10; No. 9 Ohio State (8-2), which beat Northwestern 45-10; and No. 10 Boise State (9-0), which clobbered Utah State 49-14.

Four previously unranked teams moved into the Top 25: Tulsa (8-1) at No. 20, Pitt (7-2) at No. 22, South Carolina (7-3) at No. 23 and Cincinnati (7-2) at No. 24.

Falling out of the Top 25 were California (7-3), Northwestern (7-3), Minnesota (7-3) and West Virginia (6-3).

The Ipsos Fan First Poll gives a voice to the true die-hard, the men and women who devote their fall Saturdays to the gridiron because of the love of schools, the game or rivalries.

Ipsos' online poll starts with a representative sample of 1,014 Americans, then screens them for their interest in college football.

Other surveys are filled out by coaches and sportswriters, who are paid to follow the sport.

IPSOS FAN FIRST POLL

1. Alabama (10-0) ..... 3 (last week)

2. Texas Tech (10-0) ..... 2

3. Texas (9-1) ..... 4

4. Oklahoma (9-1) ..... 5

5. Penn State (9-1) ..... 1

6. Florida (8-1) ..... 6

7. USC (8-1) ..... 8

8. Utah (10-0) ..... 9

9. Ohio State (8-2) ..... 10

10. Boise State (9-0) ..... 11

11. Oklahoma State (8-2) ..... 7

12. Georgia (8-2) ..... 13

13. Michigan State (9-2) ..... 17

14. BYU (9-1) ..... 14

15. Ball State (9-0) ..... 15

16. Missouri (8-2) ..... 16

17. Florida State (7-2) ..... 20

18. TCU (9-2) ..... 12

19. LSU (6-3) ..... 18

20. Tulsa (8-1) ..... Unranked

21. North Carolina (7-2) ..... 23

22. Pitt (7-2) ..... Unranked

23. South Carolina (7-3) ..... Unranked

24. Cincinnati (7-2) ..... Unranked

25. Georgia Tech (7-3) ..... 19

METHODOLOGY AND FAN SELECTION

For this survey, a national representative sample of 1,014 respondents from Ipsos' U.S. online panel were interviewed online (653 college fans and 256 avid college fans). Weighting then was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. Statistical margins of error aren't applicable to online polls because they're based on samples drawn from opt-in online panels, not on random samples that mirror the population within a statistical probability ratio. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

Fans in this poll are selected in a rigorous multistage process. First, a representative sample of U.S. adults is selected from the Ipsos online panel. Of this sample, about 60 percent are college football fans, here defined as watching at least one college football game in a year. Ipsos then selects "avid football fans," representing about 34 percent of all football fans, or 21 percent of the adult population. The definition of "avid football fans" is based on an index of how often the fan watches college football games on television, listens to them on the radio and attends games in person as well as reads newspaper and magazine articles related to college football.

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