Full disclosure: My latest AP ballot
Seems my ballot integrity was challenged as mightily as 'Bama this weekend. While the Tide responded favorably, readers must decide whether I did the same with my votes.
Again, some of my personal parameters: When possible, I try to (A) keep from dropping teams for winning conference games, regardless how unattractive they may appear in doing so; (B) neither penalize nor reward teams on bye weeks; and (C) not be swayed by style points (see A).
This week, I flip-flopped Louisville and Ohio State (previously fifth and sixth, respectively) not to penalize the Cardinals, but to reward the Buckeyes for such an overwhelming triumph against a ranked team (Nebraska).
Elsewhere, idle Utah (15th) didn't budge. Nor did LSU. The Tigers remain at No. 17; just can't see penalizing them for holding the nation's No. 1 team -- and 15th-ranked scoring offense -- to 10 points.
This week's big leapers? Penn State catapults 10 spots to No. 9 (Anyone wanna play the Nittany Lions right now?), while Colorado, North Carolina and Washington State each jump five spots in the wake of double-digit conference victories.
On the flop side, Nebraska tumbles 11 spots (to No. 22), Florida falls 12 spots (to No. 25) and previously No. 12 Baylor drops out altogether. In an effort to preempt the accusations of SEC bias, the Gators lost on the road to a decent SEC team (Arkansas) while Baylor fell by 40 at home to a .500 Big 12 team (TCU).
5. Ohio State
9. Penn State
11. West Virginia
12. Texas A&M
14. Virginia Tech
16. North Carolina
18. Oklahoma State
19. Washington State
21. Western Michigan
23. Boise State