Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

6

September

The bottom of an early Associated Press Top 25 ballot is a difficult thing -- there really isn't much difference between No. 25 and No. 26, but by perception, it's the difference between acknowledging a team's success and ignoring it completely.

And after just one week of college football, a ballot is in transition between what you expected -- the conjecture of a preseason ballot -- and what you've seen on the field, and the poll gets more results-based every week. I only had three Top 25 teams lose (Oregon, TCU and Notre Dame) and felt compelled to still rank all three despite their losses. (I didn't have Georgia on my ballot last week.)

So the bottom five in particular were tough -- Ohio State was the highest ranked team not on my initial ballot, and I was impressed by how completely the Buckeyes dominated even a bad Akron team. I moved in USF and Baylor after their impressive wins against ranked teams -- both have a light few weeks where they're unlikely to lose and could rise up before tests late in the month.

In adding four new teams, I dropped four teams that won, but weren't as impressive to me -- USC barely held off Minnesota, Texas led Rice just 13-9 in the third quarter, and while Utah and Hawaii are still very much on my radar, they just missed my 25 this week. Also gave a hard look to Maryland, who I liked before Monday's win against Miami -- kudos to any voters who thought enough to vote them in the preseason.

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Wisconsin
4. Boise State
5. LSU
6. Stanford
7. Florida State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Virginia Tech
10. Texas A&M
11. Oregon
12. South Carolina
13. Mississippi State
14. Nebraska
15. Arkansas
16. Michigan State
17. Missouri
18. West Virginia
19. Penn State
20. Ohio State
21. USF
22. Notre Dame
23. Baylor
24. Florida
25. TCU

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9:59am]

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