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Matt Baker’s AP top 25 ballot: Behold, top-20 Indiana

Florida and Miami both fell slightly on Matt Baker’s ballot as Cincinnati and Michigan rose.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) goes in for a touchdown as he is tackled by Penn State's Lamont Wade (38) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) goes in for a touchdown as he is tackled by Penn State's Lamont Wade (38) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) [ DARRON CUMMINGS | AP ]
Published Oct. 25, 2020

A few things to note from the Associated Press top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:

I’m starting to believe in Oklahoma State. I was skeptical of the undefeated Cowboys at 3-0 because one of those wins was against lowly Kansas and another was a close one against a Tulsa team I wasn’t convinced was very good. But Oklahoma State’s win over a ranked Iowa State team and Tulsa’s blowout of USF were the data points I needed to move the Cowboys from 14th to sixth. As a side effect, Tulsa also entered my ballot, at 23rd.

Cincinnati’s rout of SMU moved the Bearcats up to eighth. As a result, Florida slid down a spot to 10th.

Michigan looked very impressive in a 49-24 win over Minnesota. The Wolverines jumped seven spots on my ballot to 12th. I thought about moving them up even more, but I’m not going to read too much into one game compared to teams like the Gators and Tar Heels, who have been playing for a month.

Miami dropped two spots to 14th because of a rise from Michigan and BYU and a less-than-impressive win over Virginia.

Just as everyone expected for late October, Indiana is No. 18. The advanced metrics SP+ had the Hoosiers 32nd before the upset of Penn State, which is higher than I would have thought. Indiana won despite getting outgained 488-211, and I don’t know if a top-20 Indiana team is sustainable. But for one week, the Hoosiers are up there, one spot ahead of Penn State.

Related: Tampa Bay connection lifts Indiana over Penn State in overtime

Tulsa and Indiana entered my ballot after Virginia Tech and Iowa State dropped off. Minnesota and SMU hung on, ahead of a group that included Boise State and Oklahoma.

Here’s the top 25 I submitted Sunday morning:

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

4. Georgia

5. Notre Dame

6. Oklahoma State

7. Wisconsin

8. Cincinnati

9. Oregon

10. Florida

11. North Carolina

12. Michigan

13. BYU

14. Miami

15. Texas A&M

16. Memphis

17. USC

18. Indiana

19. Penn State

20. Kansas State

21. Marshall

22. Coastal Carolina

23. Tulsa

24. Minnesota

25. SMU