Politics & Government

Alabama holds onto No. 1 spot in fans' poll

WASHINGTON — Alabama's escape from unranked Kentucky was enough to give the Crimson Tide the coveted No. 1 spot for the second consecutive week in the Ipsos Fan First Poll.

Alabama (5-0) needed a field goal with two minutes left in the game to solidify its 17-14 win, but there was no sign that the Tide had lost any of its luster among fans or that coach Nick Saban's ego was deflated.

By crushing Baylor 49-17, Oklahoma (5-0) moved up to second from fourth among fans, still a notch below its lead in both the sportswriters' and coaches' polls this week. Alabama is ranked second in this week's sportswriters' poll and fourth in the coaches' poll.

Rounding out the top five were Penn State, Missouri and LSU, all undefeated entering week seven of the college football season.

At No. 6 was Texas (5-0), which beat Colorado on Chris Ogbonnaya's two touchdowns to set up this weekend's century-old Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma, one of the most heated showdowns in college football.

Brigham Young (5-0) jumped to seventh after a win over Utah State. Completing the top 10 were Ohio State (5-1), Florida (4-1) and Oklahoma State (5-0).

The highest previously unranked team among fans was Vanderbilt, which earned the 16th slot by beating Auburn (4-2), dropping the Tigers to 23rd from No. 11. Backup quarterback Mackenzi Adams' two touchdown throws put Vandy at 5-0 for the first time since Joe Namath and Mick Jagger were newborns.

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 a school or the game or a rivalry.

Ipsos' online poll starts with a representative sample of 2,014 Americans, and 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 (6-0).....1 (last week)

2. Oklahoma (5-0).....4

3. Penn State (6-0).....3

4. Missouri (5-0).....7

5. LSU (4-0).....2

6. Texas (5-0).....5

7. Brigham Young (5-0).....12

8. Ohio State (5-1).....13

9. Florida (4-1).....8

10. Oklahoma State (5-0).....14

11. Texas Tech (5-0).....16

12. Georgia (4-1).....6

13. Utah (6-0).....15

14. Michigan State (5-1).....18

15. USC (3-1).....9

16. Vanderbilt (5-0).....Unranked

17. Boise State (4-0).....17

18. Kansas (4-1).....25

19. Virginia Tech (5-1).....20

20. South Florida (5-1).....10

21. Northwestern (5-0).....Unranked

22. Ball State (6-0).....Unranked

23. Auburn (4-2).....11

24. North Carolina (4-1).....Unranked

25. California (4-1).....23

Methodology and fan selection:

For this survey, a national representative sample of 2014 respondents from Ipsos' U.S. online panel were interviewed online (1,206 college fans and 361 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 are not applicable to online polls because they are 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 multi-stage process. First, a representative sample of US adults is selected from the Ipsos online panel. Of this sample, approximately 60 percent are college football fans (here defined as watching at least 1 college football game in a year).Ipsos, then, selects "avid football fans", representing approximately 28 percent of all football fans (or 17 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 games on the radio, attends games in person, as well as reads newspapers and magazine articles related to college football.