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Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is standing by his ballot in the final USA TODAY Top 25 coaches’ poll in which he ranked unbeaten Notre Dame fourth behind three Southeastern Conference teams.
Franklin said he intended no disrespect toward Notre Dame but was quite comfortable with how his ballot read.
Franklin ranked Alabama (12-1), Georgia (11-2) and Florida (11-1) ahead of the Irish (12-0). Only two other coaches on the 59-man voting panel failed to rank Notre Dame first: MTSU’s Rick Stockstill and Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville listed the Irish second.
The coaches poll counts for one-third of a team’s BCS ranking, which determines who makes the national championship game. No. 1 Notre Dame will meet No. 2 Alabama for the title on Jan. 7 in Miami.
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