While I normally enjoy going against the grain, I can't deny Ohio State its rightful spot atop the ballot.
The Buckeyes, who likely will be No. 1 when the inaugural '15 rankings are released Sunday, have the dual benefit of a stacked roster and soft schedule (no Wisconsin or Nebraska, Michigan State at home).
But I'm sure my rankings elicit anger in many other spots. I'll explain a bit of my thinking.
I think people are being way too presumptious about Auburn, believing (among other things) that Will Muschamp will transform a mediocre defense into a monstrous one overnight. Maybe he will, I'm just not sold...yet.
I had UCLA ranked high at the outset of 2014 and they didn't disappoint (10-3, Alamo Bowl win vs. Kansas State). I like the Bruins again.
I'm favorable toward physical teams with established run games, hence the reason Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin are in my top 14. (Disclaimer: Our ballots were due Aug. 10, well before Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams was lost to a season-ending foot injury).
Notre Dame down at No. 19? A Music City Bowl win against an uninspired LSU team doesn't sell me on Malike Zaire, and questions abound along the defensive front and at kicker.
And you read the ballot correctly -- no American Athletic Conference representation. Again, I believe Cincinnati to be the AAC's premier team, but neither the Bearcats nor Houston nor Memphis warrant consideration until they knock off a Power Five program (and the opportunities are there).
1. Ohio State
4. Michigan State
13. Georgia Tech
17. Arizona State
19. Notre Dame
21. Ole Miss
24. Boise State
25. Kansas State