My AP Top 25 ballot: Ohio State or Alabama?

Here's why I put the Buckeyes ahead of 'Bama.
No. 1 was easy on my ballot. After the top three, it got tricky. CHRIS URSO   |   Times
No. 1 was easy on my ballot. After the top three, it got tricky. CHRIS URSO | Times
Published Dec. 3, 2017

Ohio State or Alabama?

I'm not on the College Football Playoff selection committee, but I had to make my own choice Sunday morning while compiling my AP Top 25 ballot. My decision?

Ohio State.

Yes, the blowout loss to Iowa is bad. Very bad. Very, very bad.

But the Buckeyes have three better wins (Wisconsin, Penn State and a destruction of Michigan State) than the Tide's best win (LSU). Beyond that, 'Bama started slipping slightly once injuries piled up in the second half of the season.

We're nitpicking, but 'Bama didn't seem great in an eight-point win over Texas A&M, and it probably should have lost to a good (but not great) Mississippi State team. And then it lost to its rival, Auburn, by double digits.

Ohio State is playing at a higher level right now. That, for me, was enough to put the Buckeyes at No. 4.

In other news, Miami is no longer the best team in the state. That honor belongs to undefeated UCF, who jumped to eighth on my ballot. I dropped Miami three spots to No. 10 after a rough way to end the season.

Finally, I thought Boise State deserved to be ranked after beating Jeff Tedford's Fresno State, winning the Mountain West title and avenging a loss the week before. That meant I had to drop my No. 25 team – USF.

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

1.       Clemson (12-1)

2.       Oklahoma (12-1)

3.       Georgia (12-1)

4.       Ohio State (11-2)

5.       Alabama (11-1)

6.       Wisconsin (12-1)

7.       USC (10-2)

8.       UCF (12-0)

9.       Auburn (10-3)

10.   Miami (10-2)

11.   Penn State (10-2)

12.   Stanford (9-4)

13.   Notre Dame (9-3)

14.   TCU (10-3)

15.   Washington (10-2)

16.   Michigan State (9-3)

17.   Memphis (10-2)

18.   Oklahoma State (9-3)

19.   LSU (9-3)

20.   Washington State (9-3)

21.   Northwestern (9-3)

22.   Virginia Tech (9-3)

23.   Mississippi State (8-4)

24.   NC State (8-4)

25.   Boise State (10-3)