Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida Gators over Ohio State

Was USF's close win over one of the worst teams in the country enough to put USF into our top 25 ballot?
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in the first half against Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. (Brooke LaValley/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in the first half against Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. (Brooke LaValley/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
Published Oct. 21, 2018
Updated Oct. 21, 2018

Coming up with my weekly AP Top 25 ballot, I'm always faced with new questions I never considered.

Like this one, from 247Sports' excellent Gators writer, Thomas Goldkamp:

My answer: Yes.

The Gators rose one spot to No. 11 in my rankings, while Urban Meyer's Buckeyes fell from No. 2 to 12th. Florida has the better win (beating LSU by eight). It also has the better loss (an 11-point loss to a good Kentucky team, as opposed to a 29-point drubbing by a decent/pretty good Purdue team). Ohio State's best wins (TCU and Penn State) don't look as good now as they did a couple weeks ago; TCU lost by 25 to Oklahoma on Saturday, while the Nittany Lions held on for a five-point win at Indiana.

UCF rose a spot to No. 9 on my ballot by crushing East Carolina without star quarterback McKenzie Milton.

I kept Kentucky ahead of UF (and moved the Wildcats up one to No. 10) because of the head-to-head win. This was the first week I really considered flipping the Gators ahead; they've had comparable results against common opponents and have outperformed UK in those games yardage-wise. But for now, the head-to-head trump card wins.

Not so with Oregon and Washington. The Ducks' loss to Washington State dropped them to No. 18, below the Huskies on my ballot (15), thanks to Washington's better overall body of work.

Three teams dropped out: Michigan State, Mississippi State and North Carolina State. Fresno State came in — Jeff Tedford's Bulldogs probably should have been on my ballot a while ago, judging by some advanced metrics. Utah and Wisconsin also jumped into my rankings.

USF remains out. Before Saturday, UConn's closest Division I-A game was a 30-point loss to Syracuse; USF held on for an eight-point win at home. To answer Bulls' fans next question, I would imagine beating Houston next week would be enough to enter my top 25. I can't answer for sure, because rankings don't occur in a vacuum, and what happens in every other game affects what happens to USF and my ballot.

The Bulls were among the other teams I considered, along with Purdue, Virginia, North Carolina State and San Diego State (among others).

Here's the top 25 I submitted Sunday morning:

1.       Alabama 8-0

2.       Notre Dame 7-0

3.       Clemson 7-0

4.       LSU 7-1

5.       Michigan 7-1

6.       Texas 6-1

7.       Oklahoma 6-1

8.       Georgia 6-1

9.       UCF 7-0

10.   Kentucky 6-1

11.   Florida 6-1

12.   Ohio State 7-1

13.   Washington State 6-1

14.   West Virginia 5-1

15.   Washington 6-2

16.   Texas A&M 5-2

17.   Penn State 5-2

18.   Oregon 5-2

19.   Iowa 6-1

20.   Fresno State 6-1

21.   Utah 5-2

22.   Appalachian State 5-1

23.   Stanford 5-2

24.   Utah State 6-1

25.   Wisconsin 5-2