Sunday, August 19, 2018
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

My AP Top 25 ballot: Will Miami-Notre Dame be a top-five matchup?

Another wild weekend of college football means more turnover in my latest AP Top 25 ballot.

Miami's 28-10 win over Virginia Tech convinced me that the Hurricanes are a legitimate College Football Playoff contender. Accordingly, they jumped up to No. 6 in my rankings, barely behind Clemson. If UM beats Notre Dame (up to No. 3 on my ballot), this week, the 'Canes should be a top-three team.

Wisconsin finally put together what I considered a nice win (a four-score triumph over Indiana), so I felt OK putting the Badgers at No. 7.

The two-loss teams are a jumbled mess. I ranked Ohio State ahead of the others (at No. 10), followed by Auburn. UCF rose two spots to No. 12 thanks to a win at SMU. I dropped the Hokies down four spots to 17th, just ahead of Washington State.

I broke one of my general rules by keeping Iowa State ranked (at No. 22) but not putting West Virginia back in…even though they have the same 6-3 record and the Mountaineers just beat the Cyclones. I did so because the resumes aren't quite comparable; Iowa State has two wins over top-eight teams, and the 'Eers are 1-3 against good teams.

Arizona, Stanford (not the same, at all, with a banged-up Bryce Love) and North Carolina State dropped off my ballot. Iowa, Michigan and Toledo join the party. That means, in my eyes, USF is at best the No. 4 Group of Five team (behind UCF, Memphis and the Rockets), even after a nice win at UConn. Toledo and the Bulls have the same record and the same number of great wins (zero). Toledo has a better loss and has played a tougher schedule (according to the Sagarin Ratings), which is why I have some MACtion in my top 25.

Here's the AP Top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:

1.       Alabama (9-0)

2.       Georgia (9-0)

3.       Notre Dame (8-1)

4.       Oklahoma (8-1)

5.       Clemson (8-1)

6.       Miami (8-0)

7.       Wisconsin (9-0)

8.       TCU (8-1)

9.       Washington (8-1)

10.   Ohio State (7-2)

11.   Auburn (7-2)

12.   UCF (8-0)

13.   Oklahoma State (7-2)

14.   USC (8-2)

15.   Michigan State (7-2)

16.   Penn State (7-2)

17.   Virginia Tech (7-2)

18.   Washington State (8-2)

19.   Mississippi State (7-2)

20.   Memphis (8-1)

21.   Iowa (6-3)

22.   Iowa State (6-3)

23.   Michigan (7-2)

24.   LSU (6-3)

25.   Toledo (8-1)

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