Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • 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)

Comments
Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Turns out, USF junior Kitija Laksa wasn't merely unconscious from behind the 3-point line Friday night, she was unprecedented.Laksa's 11 consecutive 3-pointers in the Bulls' 108-48 home romp of Southern University broke the NCAA's single-game record ...
Published: 12/16/17
College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College football bowl season gets underway Saturday with six games. Here's the Tampa Bay Times college football coverage team's picks for those and five other games the first week of bowl season. GameMartin Fennelly @mjfennellyTraci Johnson @TBH...
Published: 12/16/17
Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

A month ago, the Gators and Florida State were both on track to land top-10 recruiting classes.Less than a week before the inaugural early signing period begins, both are on pace to land their worst classes of the Rivals era, with the crazy coaching ...
Published: 12/15/17
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Published: 12/15/17
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Published: 12/15/17
Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF women's basketball sensation Courtney Williams is one significant step closer to becoming an Olympian.Williams, who just completed her first full season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, is among 29 players who have been chosen for the 2017...
Published: 12/14/17
Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Reader Ken Kueker asked a great question yesterday:"If UCF beats Auburn in the Peach Bowl, what do you think of voting them #1 in your AP ranking?"My short answer is the obvious cop-out: It depends on how UCF looks (is it a triple-overtime win o...
Published: 12/14/17
Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Understandably, an anticlimactic vibe hovers over the Birmingham Bowl for many USF fans, who were hoping their season would end a bit farther east, at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.But one still can't ignore this game's historical context: It's the last ...
Published: 12/13/17
USF’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help homeless on Christmas

USF’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help homeless on Christmas

He enters the Birmingham Bowl needing 67 yards to break former Lakewood High teammate Rodney Adams' single-season receiving yardage record at USF, but senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling has more pressing priorities these days.History, in fact, is No. 3 ...
Published: 12/12/17
Florida Gators’ Taven Bryan entering NFL draft

Florida Gators’ Taven Bryan entering NFL draft

Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft, he announced Monday on Instagram.The 6-foot-4, 291-pound redshirt junior was among the Gators' leaders with four sacks and 40 tackles (six for a loss) on the ...
Published: 12/11/17