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Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

3

October

My biggest challenge in compiling a new poll seems to be deciding how far to drop teams that had been highly ranked and lost to a higher-ranked opponent. Florida and Stanford both took big losses on the road against what I now count as the top two teams in the country -- Florida wasn't even close to Alabama, and Stanford, like Tennessee, managed a big early lead only to see Oregon dominate the second half.

I have nine teams with losses in my rankings, and all lost to teams currently ranked higher in the polls, so there are no awkward situations yet where a team is ranked lower than a team (with a comparable record) that it beat. I didn't have Michigan State on my ballot last week because I didn't think Notre Dame was that convincing a quality win, so how high do I put them after a solid win against a Wisconsin team that now, after closer inspection, doesn't have a quality win? (Wisconsin's three I-A wins are against teams who are a combined 4-11.)

Tough call at the bottom of the poll -- Northwestern is 5-0, but hasn't beaten anyone of consequence -- its four I-A wins are against teams who are a combined 5-14. Kansas State was off, but has a solid win against UCLA (which has beaten two ranked teams) and Missouri's win at Illinois was by nearly the same margin as Ohio State. Considered West Virginia and Air Force -- both one-loss teams who took close road losses at top teams (LSU and Oklahoma). Air Force's best win is against a BYU team that's now 1-4; West Virginia can only boast beating a 4-1 Maryland team. I'll go with the undefeated Big 12 teams for now, though Kansas State could get beat up by Nebraska on Thursday.

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Ohio State

4. Boise State

5. TCU

6. Oklahoma

7.  Nebraska

8. Miami

9. Auburn

10. Utah

11. LSU

12. Arizona

13. Arkansas

14. Michigan

15. Stanford

16. Michigan State

17. South Carolina

18. Florida

19. Iowa

20. Wisconsin

21. Oklahoma State

22. Nevada

23. Florida State

24. Missouri

25. Kansas State

[Last modified: Sunday, October 3, 2010 10:12am]

    

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