Auburn fans don’t always agree on everything, but over the past few weeks there has been one thing, one flag that every one of us–young or old, rich or poor, diehard or casual–has rallied to and claimed as our own: that the people who vote in the mainstream polls are blind chimpanzees at best and more likely blind chimpanzees who have tried and repeatedly failed to tell their ass from a hole in the ground.
Fortunately–or unfortunately, from the standpoint that this kind of universally shared outrage is rare, and has actually been kind of enjoyable–we’re going to have to relinquish the rage for a while, because Auburn has been let past the pollsters’ velvet rope and into the top 25, landing at 17 in the AP and 19 in the coaches’ and Harris polls.
What’s interesting here is that, to extend the “velvet rope” metaphor, Auburn wasn’t just admitted into the top 25 club–the bouncer handed them vouchers for two rounds of free drinks and escorted them into the top 20 suite. For voters who have been lethargic about moving any teams anywhere, this is a surprising move, and it doesn’t exactly jibe with what happened solely over this weekend–sure, a road win over a (mostly) competent SEC team is a big deal, and there were more upsets this week in the lower fringes of the poll, but a nine-spot leap in the AP? An eight-spot jumps in the Coaches’, seven in the Harris? I don’t know why 5-0 with a win at Tennessee is that much better than 4-0 with a win over West Virginia, but clearly some kind of tipping point was reached.
And so we’re going to have to retire the complaints about the pollsters for a while. (Not that the “they hate Auburn” gripe was ever really valid–remember, they left the Tigers in the polls last year even after the Vanderbilt debacle, when it was obvious Auburn couldn’t have beaten a well-drilled squad of baboons.* They’re just agonizingly slow.) As the Chiznick has said all along: if the wins keep coming, eventually, so will the respect. If Auburn can keep stacking up trophies on the wall, they’ll get where they’re supposed to go in the polls.
(Besides, dude, we’re not the only one with a gripe: explain to me why Wisconsin, at 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Big 10 and with a decent nonconference win over Fresno, is unranked in the AP and No. 25 in the Coaches’ while Penn St.–4-1, 1-1 in the Big 10 with an ugly home loss and less-than-zero out of conference–is 14th and 12th, respectively. I’m not saying it’s not still a horrible mess, just that Auburn fans can relax.)
*It’s Great Ape Metaphor Day! Tell your friends!