Only three weeks into the season, most of my personal balloting guidelines (i.e. don't penalize teams for winning conference games, lend little credence to style points, etc.) have been tossed aside.
Then again, so has convention. This is, after all, the era of high tempo and higher drama.
And in this current state of bedlam, Louisville is the best team I've seen.
For that simple reason, the Cardinals leapfrog -- among others -- previous No. 1 'Bama, which seemingly has been living on the edge (of Nick Saban's nerves). I gave serious thought to sliding the Tide to No. 3 behind Ohio State, but I already felt guilty enough dropping them after winning within their conference (against Ole Miss).
Elsewhere, I bid adieu (for now) to Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Iowa and Ole Miss. Among those I welcome to my ballot: USF.
I've seen enough. The Bulls warrant a spot.
3. Ohio State
9. Texas A&M
10. Michigan State