Georgia and Southern Methodist, the top-ranked teams in both wire-service football polls this week, are both on NCAA probation. Southern California, Arizona State and Texas, three other teams ranked by the Associated Press, are not included by United Press International because they are on probation.
The difference is that the NCAA probations currently in effect against Georgia and SMU do not include sanctions against television or bowl appearances, according to Dick Herbert, spokesman for the American Football Coaches Association. Forty-two coaches vote in the UPI poll.
Since 1974, the coaches association has recommended to both wire services that the polls should not include teams that are on probation with sanctions prohibiting television or bowl appearances, Herbert said. In 1975 Oklahoma, a team on NCAA probation, was ranked No. 1 by the AP's board of sportswriters and sportscasters, but Southern Cal was No. 1 in UPI, since Oklahoma was not eligible to be ranked.
Arizona State, however, will be eligible for the final UPI ranking following the New Year's day bowls. Sanctions against Arizona State end Dec. 30, making the Sun Devils eligible for any New Year's day bowl.
The coaches association, according to Herbert, also excludes any coach connected with a probation with television and bowls sanctions from consideration for coach of the year. Among the coaches affected by that ruling this year is SMU's Bobby Collins, because of his connection with the recent probation with television and bowl sanctions of Southern Mississippi, his former school.