Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

16

October

Another week, another handful of undefeateds taking their first losses. Sometimes there's a mystique given to a perfect record, and a bad first loss can drop a team farther as a result.

Consider Georgia Tech, which lost to an unranked Virginia team and really has no quality wins, save maybe North Carolina. Michigan? Best it can offer is rallying to beat Notre Dame, or perhaps San Diego State. The Pac-10 has a pair of 5-1s in Washington and USC, both with their lone losses to ranked teams, but they don't make my top 25 because they haven't beaten anyone: Cal and Utah? I did, however, add SMU to my ballot -- the Mustangs' only loss is to Texas A&M, albeit by 26 points, but they have a win against TCU, and among the one-loss options, that stands up as a quality win.

Kansas State is a tricky one to rank right now -- they have a bunch of solid second-tier wins (Baylor, Miami, Missouri, Texas Tech) but haven't had to face any of the Big 12's elite teams yet. Those games could either validate a resilient Wildcats team, or show them to be a low-ranked team not on the same level as the other Big 12 undefeateds.

Quick turnaround back to Tampa has me with less time to write than usual, but here's my ballot for your perusal and inspection:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Wisconsin
5. Oklahoma State
6. Clemson
7. Boise State
8. Stanford
9. Arkansas
10. Oregon
11. South Carolina
12. Nebraska
13. Kansas State
14. Auburn
15. West Virginia
16. Michigan State
17. Illinois
18. Arizona State
19. Michigan
20. Texas A&M
21. Georgia Tech
22. Penn State
23. Houston
24. SMU
25. Virginia Tech

[Last modified: Sunday, October 16, 2011 8:10am]

    

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