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Monday, October 28, 2013
Jimbo Fisher: No emotion in ballot

By David M. Hale
ESPN.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- One day after Florida State dropped a spot to third in the latest BCS standings, head coach Jimbo Fisher said he believes his Seminoles are as good as any other team in the country -- but he didn't vote them No. 1, either.

Fisher, who has a vote in the USA Today Coaches Poll, which makes up one-third of the BCS formula, didn't put FSU atop his ballot. Emotion, he said, shouldn't figure into the decision.

"That's a job I have," Fisher said. "I don't look at it through our team. You can't let emotion get into it. You have to do what you think, from your study, evaluation, opinion and expertise, where you should fit in that poll."

Florida State did not earn any first-place votes in the latest coaches' poll.

While Fisher didn't reveal his full ballot, he strongly suggested Alabama took the top spot.

"Alabama's been very consistent, playing great defense right now, they have playmakers that can run the football, they're very physical, and they've done it and earned it for two years," Fisher said.

Fisher said he thought Alabama and Oregon both had an edge on Florida State because of their performance in past seasons, adding that he would prefer no polls were released until six or seven weeks into a season.

Florida State is 7-0 and will host No. 7 Miami this week after torching its past three opponents by a combined 163-31. Still, that performance wasn't enough to hold off Oregon in the latest poll. The two teams flipped positions in this week's poll, with the Seminoles now trailing the Ducks by .0306 points.

In last week's 49-17 win over NC State, Fisher sat his starters for nearly all of the second half after Florida State ran up a 42-0 halftime lead. Asked after the game whether he'd missed a chance to earn some style points in the eyes of voters, Fisher said he refused to coach based on the polls.

"I'm not going to go out there and embarrass this game and the integrity of how you've got to play," Fisher said. "If that's the way they're going to do it, they need to re-evaluate. If they can't tell we dominated that game early and put it away -- I just think that's bad for college football, in my opinion."

Fisher said he expects voters to use "the eye test" to gauge a team's performance based on its style of play rather than rely on the final score.

"People watch and know when you're playing well," he said. "It's important you prepare to play well, play well and put a great product on the field. From that standpoint, you do have to impress. But I think that's how you win games."

Six teams from automatic-qualifying conferences remain undefeated, and Fisher said all warrant consideration for the BCS title game at this point, but he added that he believed the remaining schedule would narrow the field significantly.

"Everybody brings something different to the table. You're not undefeated for no reason," Fisher said. "There's a lot of them, and it'll sort itself out."