Rejoice 'Nole nation: My latest AP ballot
In honor of all the FSU partisans who have questioned my integrity and intelligence the last few weeks, I hereby proclaim the 'Noles' No. 2 on my latest Associated Press ballot.
Why did it take so long? Simple.
At the season's outset, the Ducks were ahead of the 'Noles on my ballot (and presumably, most others). Face it, no one who doesn't sleep beneath garnet and gold sheets could've envisioned the Heisman-caliber impact of freshman QB Jameis Winston on FSU's offense.
At a certain point (perhaps post-Clemson, and certainly post-Miami), the 'Noles warranted a promotion to No. 2. Problem is, the Ducks had done nothing in my eyes to warrant a demotion. The result was a quagmire; three teams had proven worthy of the top two spots.
But as typically occurs, things worked themselves out. Stanford's victory Thursday against the Ducks eased the logjam atop ballots everywhere.
As for the rest of my rankings, I bid adieu to Notre Dame and Texas Tech, and bid aloha to Minnesota and Texas.
Oklahoma tumbled 12 spots to No. 21 after being embarrassed by Baylor on Thursday, while LSU fell 14 spots to 25 after failing to show up for the second half at Alabama.
Why do I still deem LSU among the nation's top 25? Their three defeats all have come against bowl-bound SEC teams (Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss), and they have beaten Auburn. And yes, count me among the legions who consider the SEC the best conference in the nation.
3. Ohio State
9. Texas A&M
10. Oklahoma State
11. South Carolina
14. Michigan State
16. Fresno State
17. Arizona State
22. Northern Illinois