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Alabama in tide of unanimity Which fans are tops?

A year ago, Alabama's football team had to settle for being half a national champion, the consequence of divergent voter opinions in the two wire service polls. This season the Crimson Tide went 12-0 to secure the top ranking in both tabulations.

With a convincing 24-9 Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas that left it with the nation's only perfect record. Alabama helped clarify what is often a confusing situation. In fact, voters in both the United Press International coaches' and the Associated Press writers' polls managed to agree on the first five teams.

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Coming after Alabama were Southern Cal (11-0-1), Oklahoma (11-1), Ohio State (11-1), and Houston (11-1).

Right before the bowl games, undefeated Ohio State slipped ahead of Alabama in the AP poll, a quirk that caused a great deal of consternation among Tide rooters.This sudden shift of opinion threatened another divided vote for No. 1 in the final polls, an outcome prevented by the Buckeyes' 17-16 Rose Bowl loss to Southern Cal.

In addition to Alabama and Ohio State, Florida State and Brigham Young had entered the post-season boasting unblemished records. But FSU's Cinderella Seminoles were manhandled by Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, 24-7, and dropped from fourth to eighth in the UPI rankings. Brigham Young also slipped on the UPI charts, going from ninth to 12th following a heartbreaking 38-37 loss to Indiana in a wild Holiday Bowl.

Other teams in the final UPI ratings are No. 6 Pittsburgh (11-1); No. 7 Nebraska (10- 2); No. 9 Arkansas (10-2); No. 10 Purdue (10- 2); No. 11 Washington (10-2); No. 13 Texas (9- 3); No. 14 North Carolina (8-3-1); No. 15 Baylor (8-4); No. 16 Indiana (8-4); No. 17 Temple (10-2); No. 18 Penn State (8-4 ); No. 19 Michigan (8-4); and No. 20 Missouri (7-5).


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