Wonder how many of the media types who ripped Taylor Zarzour, the sports director at WPTF-AM 680 radio in Raleigh, for his preseason Associated Press Top 25 football vote are calling to apologize. Zarzour is certainly owed more than a few mea culpas, considering the response got so bad that he was receiving death threats.
Zarzour had the unmitigated gall to pick Ohio State 13th in the nation before the season, to leave Auburn, Tennessee and West Virginia off the list entirely, and to put Alabama, his favorite team, at No. 23. If you happened to hear the grilling he took on Mark Packer's radio show, "Primetime With The Packman," it would have been easy to assume that Zarzour had given the poll little thought and left out Auburn out of spite.
In fact, he gave a well-reasoned explanation for each choice, including the problems Auburn would face with a new offensive coordinator.
By now, you've figured out where this is going. In the latest AP Top 25 poll, Auburn, Tennessee and West Virginia didn't get any votes, and Alabama is No. 2. If anything, Zarzour was careful not to let his allegiance get the best of his judgment.
Not that he's heard anything from the detractors.
He's not claiming to be infallible. (He wishes he had his pick of Wisconsin at No. 9 back — the Badgers are unranked.) But he didn't deserve the grief he took over something as speculative as a preseason poll.