Full disclosure: My latest AP ballot
For six of the past seven polls, I've omitted USF primarily due to the strength-of-schedule quotient.
But today, I can't ignore the strength-in-numbers quotient.
The Bulls have scored at least 35 points, have run for at least 200 yards, and have totaled at least 440 yards in every game. Gaze around at the Group of Five, and no other team worthy of ballot consideration has achieved those figures in every contest. Not Houston. Not Boise State. Not Western Michigan. Not Navy.
So the Bulls are back in this week. So too are Arkansas (34-30 winner against Ole Miss), Colorado (40-16 winner against Arizona State) and LSU (45-10 winner against Southern Miss).
Those who routinely scrutinize my ballot will notice I barely dropped Clemson (from second to third) and didn't drop Louisville (sixth) at all despite unflattering performances against N.C. State and Duke, respectively.
Again, I make every effort not to penalize teams for winning conference games.
2. Ohio State
7. Texas A&M
15. West Virginia
18. Boise State
20. North Carolina
24. Virginia Tech