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Full disclosure: My latest AP ballot (Dec. 1)

1

December

I couldn't cast a ballot in the immediate wake of the Miracle on Iron. To fairly assess where Auburn should reside in my top 25, I had to allow the emotion to subside. Then I had to ponder it, sleep on it then ponder it some more.

Twelve hours later, I arrived at this personal conclusion: The Tigers (11-1) pulled off the greatest finish in college football history, but they're still No. 3 in America.

For all the Tigers' resilience, I couldn't in good conscience propel them past undefeated Ohio State. While I acknowledge Auburn has played a tougher schedule, leap-frogging the Tigers over the Buckeyes would violate a personal conviction.

I've had Ohio State ahead of Auburn all along, and won't penalize the former for winning a rivalry game against a plus-.500 team in its most hostile environment of the year. It's not that Auburn doesn't deserve No. 2, it's that OSU doesn't warrant a demotion.

Elsewhere, Alabama falls only to No. 4 because the Tide's lone loss was to a top-three team on the game's final play. South Carolina remains ahead of SEC East champ Missouri because the Gamecocks (10-2) defeated the Tigers (11-1).

Texas A&M, USC and Fresno State (which hasn't played anyone) exited, while Texas, Georgia and Iowa entered. The Hawkeyes (8-4) sort of snuck up on me; their losses have been to four higher-ranked teams (Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin).

1. FSU
2. Ohio State
3. Auburn
4. Alabama
5. Oklahoma State
6. Michigan State
7. South Carolina
8. Missouri
9. Baylor
10. Stanford
11. Arizona State
12. Clemson
13. Oregon
14. Northern Illinois
15. UCF
16. LSU
17. Oklahoma
18. Louisville
19. UCLA
20. Duke
21. Wisconsin
22. Texas
23. Georgia
24. Iowa
25. Cincinnati

[Last modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 12:14pm]

    

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