The most interesting question I encountered on my AP Top 25 ballot last week was whether to put Florida ahead of rival Georgia. I didn’t.
This week, I changed my mind. UF’s win on the road against a South Carolina team that beat UGA last week in Athens was part of the equation. The Bulldogs struggling at home against Kentucky and its third-string quarterback (who’s a great receiver, by the way) was the other part.
Put them together, and the Gators leapfrogged UGA for seventh on the ballot I submitted Sunday morning. We’ll find out whether the Gators can stay ahead after their meeting in Jacksonville next month, but for now, I think UF is playing like the better team —and that’s reflected in my rankings.
Ohio State stayed atop my ballot after crushing Northwestern on the road on Friday night. Penn State squeaked ahead of Clemson to enter the top five after the Nittany Lions held on to beat Michigan (which fell three spots to No. 20). I feel less confident Alabama is the No. 3 team in the country and strongly considered moving Oklahoma ahead of the Tide but didn’t pull the trigger this time.
Wisconsin, of course, fell mightily after inexplicably losing to Lovie Smith’s Illini. The Badgers dropped from fourth to 12th on my ballot, and I considered dropping them even lower than that. Texas also made a notable drop (from 15th to 20th) after trying to lose to Les Miles’ Jayhawks in Austin.
Washington and Missouri fell out of my rankings. Former Bucs assistant P.J. Fleck made his debut on my ballot this week with Minnesota, and Memphis reentered. Arizona State held onto the final spot ahead of a group that includes UCF, Virginia, San Diego State and Louisiana Tech, among others.
Here’s the AP Top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:
1. Ohio State
5. Penn State
10. Notre Dame
18. Iowa State
21. Appalachian State
24. Boise State
25. Arizona State