Full disclosure: My latest AP football ballot
Had a reader last week who suggested I consult Vegas-style projections on potential neutral-site matchups in determining my ballot. While I appreciate the advice, I'll respectfully decline.
In lieu of cybermetrics, algorithms and oddsmakers' forecasts, I subscribe to the old-school method: watching the games (when possible), reading game recaps, considering head-to-head matchups (when possible) and embracing strong hunches.
Fortunately, there is no right or wrong method, as long as the job's taken seriously. With that preface, I offer my latest ballot, with a comment or two.
I've had Michigan State ranked second for some time now, and believe Sparty has widely been undervalued. This is an extremely well-coached team on its longest win streak in 59 years. Further, one has to consider the human element (which computers don't): After what they pulled off in Ann Arbor, the Spartans presumably won't quiver in adverse situations and will continue playing until the final whistle. That can't be discounted.
But in good conscience, I can't keep them at No. 2. It's not that I believe Michigan State is regressing, but that TCU, Ohio State, Baylor and Clemson simply are playing better at this point.
At any rate, here's the latest ballot, filled out the old-fashioned way.
2. Ohio State
5. Michigan State
9. Oklahoma State
13. Notre Dame
22. Ole Miss
24. Mississippi State