National

Crimson Tide remains at top of Fans First Poll

MCT

WASHINGTON — Undefeated Alabama continued to ride its crimson ride atop the Ipsos College Football Fan First Poll by beating Mississippi State 32-7 at home in Tuscaloosa.

Coming in at No. 2 was Texas Tech (10-0), which on Saturday will test its 12-game winning streak against No. 6 Oklahoma (9-1). Both teams are rested up from bye weeks.

Texas (10-1) held on to its No. 3 slot this week by forcing fumbles and sacking Kansas 35-7.

Penn State (10-1) moved up a spot to No. 4 by beating Indiana 34-7. All Big Ten fans will be glued to the Nittany Lions' game this weekend against No. 16 Michigan State (9-2), which is coming off a bye week, as both teams are vying with No. 11 Ohio State (9-2) for the conference lead.

The Buckeyes, who beat Illinois 30-20 last week, play demoralized Michigan, a rivalry that typically is anticipated by college fans all season but this year is somewhat muted by the Wolverines 3-8 record.

Rounding out the Top 5 is Florida (9-1), which humiliated South Carolina 56-6 and dropped the Gamecocks from the Top 25 in the Ipsos Fan First Poll.

Alabama, Texas Tech, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma are ranked 1-5 in the sportswriters' and coaches' polls. Texas and Florida flip-flop in the BCS poll.

The survey gauges which teams are drawing the approval of the true die-hard football fans, who spend fall Saturdays with either remote controls and flat screens or cold drinks and tailgates.

Southern California (9-1) came in at No. 7 with a solid win over Stanford and No. 8 Utah (11-0) beat San Diego State.

Boise State (10-0) and BYU (11-1) filled out the top 10.

Ipsos' online poll starts with a representative sample of 1,012 adults, then screens them for their interest in college football. In this survey, conducted Wednesday and Thursday, 62 percent were college football fans, and among those, 235 avid college football fans were interviewed.

The sportswriters' and coaches' polls are filled out by people who are paid to watch the sport.

Ipsos College Football Fan First Poll

1 Alabama (11-0) ..... 1 (last week)

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

3 Texas (10-1) ..... 3

4 Penn State (10-1) ..... 5

5 Florida (9-1) ..... 6

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

7 Southern California (9-1) ..... 7

8 Utah (11-0) ..... 8

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

10 BYU (11-1) ..... 14

11 Ohio State (9-2) ..... 9

12 Oklahoma State (9-2) ..... 11

13 Ball State (10-0) ..... 15

14 Georgia (9-2) ..... 12

15 Missouri (9-2) ..... 16

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

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

18 LSU (7-3) ..... 19

19 Cincinnati (8-2) ..... 24

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

21 Oregon (8-3) ..... Unranked

22 North Carolina (7-3) ..... 21

23 Oregon State (7-3) ..... Unranked

24 Florida State (7-3) ..... 17

25 Maryland (7-3) ..... Unranked

METHODOLOGY AND FAN SELECTION:

For this survey, a national representative sample of 1,012 respondents from Ipsos' U.S. online panel were interviewed online (650 college fans and 235 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 62 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 33 percent of all football fans, or 20 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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