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Alabama No. 2 in Coaches' Poll; Harris Poll Likely Deciding Vote

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The new Coaches' Poll is out, and Alabama is the No. 2 team by a slim margin. Bama has 1399 points to Oklahoma State's 1367 points.

I'm going to make a couple of assumptions here about the rest of the BCS standings:

  1. LSU is the unanimous No. 1 team still.
  2. Alabama is second in two computer polls and third in the other four.

We already know Bama is second in the Sagarin and Wolfe computer polls. I expect Oklahoma State to be second in the others because of how strong the Big 12 has been in them the rest of the season.

This is how the BCS standings as we know them look, based on those two assumptions:

Team Coaches Harris Comp. 1 Comp. 2 Comp. 3 Comp. 4 Computers BCS
LSU 1.000 1.000 1 1 1 1 1.00 1.000
Alabama 0.948 ? 2 3 3 3 0.93 0.939
Oklahoma St. 0.927 ? 3 2 2 2 0.95 0.938

The final BCS column is computed solely on the basis of the Coaches' Poll and computer poll components. What this essentially means is that whoever ends up second in the Harris Poll will play LSU for the national championship. Keep in mind too that this is a worst-case scenario for Bama in the computers (the top and bottom ranks for each team are thrown out). Each additional No. 2 vote in the computers extends Bama's slim lead.

The Harris Poll will not be revealed until this evening, nor will any of the other computer polls. We can't know the final standings for sure, but Alabama had a sizable lead over Oklahoma State in last week's Harris Poll. It would take an awful lot of vote changes to put OSU second; as you can see, the Cowboys couldn't overcome last week's big gap in the Coaches' Poll. Another good sign for the Tide: it's second in the AP Poll, which doesn't matter to the BCS but isn't a terrible proxy for the Harris Poll vote.

It's looking good for Alabama right now, but don't book your reservations for New Orleans just yet.