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Harris Poll voters explain why they had Oklahoma State No. 2 or No. 3

OSU IN THE BCS — When the BCS standings were released Sunday, Oklahoma State was a mere .0086 behind No. 2 Alabama. The Oklahoman asked several Harris Poll voters, the only human voters that affect the BCS standings, why they had OSU and Alabama where they did in their polls.
COMPILED BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, Published: December 4, 2011

The Oklahoman contacted a variety of Harris poll voters, asking them to explain how they vote and why in the OSU-Alabama debate:

MIKE KERN, Philadelphia Daily News

1. LSU; 2. Alabama; 3. OSU; 4. Stanford; 5. Arkansas.

What Kern said about his vote: “I will tell you, I thought long and hard about this ... because I know it means a lot. When it came down to Bama and OSU ... I still think that Bama lost to the best team in the country, albeit at home, in OT, and OSU lost on the road to a 6-6 team when it had a 17-point lead in third quarter. And to be honest, it's like splitting hairs.

"On a neutral field, I think Bama would be favored (against OSU), maybe not by much, and that doesn't mean Bama would win. But I still think great defense usually tops great offense, as has been shown in the national title games over the last five years for the most part, even with some Big 12 teams.

"The (Bedlam) blowout made me move them up from four to three, and almost to two. I did not want to see a rematch, in a perfect world, but I don't think it's my job as a voter to pick what game I'd want to see but what two teams I think are the two best.”


1. LSU; 2. OSU; 3. Alabama; 4. Oregon; 5. Stanford.

What O'Brien said about his vote: “I sat down and compared the resumes of both Alabama and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys definitely had a worse loss than Alabama, but at the end of the day, I thought OK State had the better overall resume with more quality wins. The Cowboys blew out both Baylor (my No. 12) and Oklahoma (my No. 19). They also beat my No. 9 Kansas State, which I believe is essentially the equivalent of Bama's win over Arkansas. Covering C-USA, I'm intimately familiar with Tulsa, so blowing out the Golden Hurricane on the road was another quality win as were wins over Missouri, Texas A&M and Texas. Alabama had a nice win over Penn State but just not as many convincing wins as the Cowboys.

"The blowout over OU had a big impact. Oklahoma was No. 12 on my last ballot, so I obviously thought a lot of the Sooners. To completely embarrass your rival with the conference title on the line weighed heavily, because it greatly improved the overall quality of OSU's wins this season.

"The idea of a rematch didn't impact (my vote) at all. Honestly, I'd probably prefer to watch Alabama and LSU because I enjoy SEC football. But I have to vote on the two teams that I think are most deserving, and I feel, based on the resume, that OK State is just more deserving than Alabama."

ROBERT GAGLIARDI, Wyoming Tribune and Laramie Boomerang

1. LSU; 2. Alabama; 3. OSU; 4. Stanford; 5. Oregon.

What Gagliardi said about his vote: “I had OSU third mostly due to its loss at Iowa State hurt it more than Alabama's loss to LSU. I debated it for a long time, and I think OSU is really good, but in the end, I thought LSU and Alabama were the two best teams.

“The blowout of OU was impressive and led to me moving OSU up to third. I didn't have the Cowboys third in my (previous) Harris Poll, but that win had them vault up quite a bit from my last poll.

“The idea of a rematch didn't enter my mind or vote. I just felt those two were the best teams based on what they did all season. It probably helped the two teams played earlier and the game went to overtime to be decided. To me, it seemed like the two best teams and two pretty evenly matched teams.”

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