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Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

7

January

One last ballot for the AP Top 25, and one last set of difficult decisions -- how far do you drop Notre Dame for such a lopsided loss in the national championship game? In the end, I just dropped the Irish to No. 3, citing their head-to-head win against Stanford, who I had next on the ballot. I can understand why folks may have Oregon ahead of Notre Dame -- both have their only loss to top-five teams, and one has a three-point overtime loss, the other a 28-point blowout. I give the nod on a stronger body of work for the entire season. Oregon didn't have a win against my final top 20 until the K-State victory.

Stanford gets the nod ahead of Oregon despite the extra loss because the Cardinal won at Oregon, and because I had them with six wins against top-30 teams, as many as any team on my ballot. How far do you drop Florida? I moved Georgia back ahead of the Gators, but on the strength of four top-15 wins, I kept Florida ahead of A&M, South Carolina and FSU teams they beat.

I'll be curious to see how far up Louisville moves with the Florida win -- it's Louisville's only top-30 win, so they're hard to slot. Bottom 10 spots on the ballot are a big dropoff from the top -- put two five-loss teams in with Michigan and Baylor. Baylor got nod for the final spot ahead of UCLA and Penn State. I probably have Nebraska higher than most -- that 39-point loss in the Big Ten title game is a killer, but I still see four wins against teams in the top 30 or so, which is a lot more than most at the bottom of the poll can boast.

I appreciate the feedback I've gotten all year long -- here's the final ballot, and let me know what you think ...

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Notre Dame
4. Stanford
5. Oregon
6. Georgia
7. Florida
8. Texas A&M
9. South Carolina
10. Florida State
11. Clemson
12. Kansas State
13. LSU
14. Louisville
15. Oklahoma
16. Utah State
17. San Jose State
18. Northern Illinois
19. Nebraska
20. Michigan
21. Northwestern
22. Texas
23. Oregon State
24. Boise State
25. Baylor

[Last modified: Monday, January 7, 2013 11:39pm]

    

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