Who’s No. 1 on Matt Baker’s latest AP top 25 ballot?

Here’s what he did with Florida, Miami and UCF after their Week 1 games.
Did Alabama move up to No. 1 on Matt Baker's AP top 25 ballot after blowing out Miami?
Did Alabama move up to No. 1 on Matt Baker's AP top 25 ballot after blowing out Miami? [ JOHN BAZEMORE | AP ]
Published Sept. 7, 2021

A fantastic first full week of college football has led to some inevitable shakeups on my AP top 25 ballot. Just not at the top spot.

Georgia remained No. 1 in my eyes after a 10-3 win over Clemson. The Bulldogs’ lack of offense was concerning, but maybe Clemson’s defense is that excellent. I don’t know yet after one week. I do know, however, that beating a top-five team at a neutral site was not going to end in me dropping Georgia from the top spot, even though Alabama looked dominant in its win over Miami.

Then again, maybe the Hurricanes aren’t very good. That’s the problem with Week 1. We have no context, so we’re left trying to react to games without overreacting.

I tried to strike a balance, but there were some big shakeups in my rankings, starting with Miami. I had the ‘Canes 11th on my preseason ballot and dropped them out of my top 25 this morning. I couldn’t justify keeping them after a 41-13 loss to Alabama in Atlanta.

Indiana, Washington, LSU and Louisiana Lafayette all dropped out, too, after their losses. That led to the addition of UCLA (which went from unranked to 15th on my ballot), Virginia Tech, Mississippi, Arizona State and Michigan. I considered North Carolina State after its 45-0 win over USF. I also gave Florida State consideration after putting up an impressive fight against Notre Dame, but I need to see more from the Seminoles first. Liberty was also on the list.

Iowa rose 12 spots in my rankings after destroying the Hoosiers. Penn State moved up nine after a nice win at Wisconsin.

After watching the Irish and Florida play in person on back-to-back days, I moved Notre Dame ahead of the Gators. The gap isn’t large, but I thought the Irish had more playmakers. UF did what I expected (beat Florida Atlantic easily) and thus stayed 13th on my ballot. UCF went up three spots to No. 22 after a nice comeback against Boise State.

Related: Why Florida is sticking with Emory Jones, not Anthony Richardson (for now)

Here’s the AP top 25 ballot I submitted Tuesday morning:

1. Georgia

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

4. Clemson

5. Oklahoma

6. Texas A&M

7. Cincinnati

8. Iowa

9. Oregon

10. Penn State

11. Iowa State

12. Notre Dame

13. Florida

14. USC

15. UCLA

16. Texas

17. Virginia Tech

18. Wisconsin

19. Coastal Carolina

20. North Carolina

21. Utah

22. UCF

23. Mississippi

24. Arizona State

25. Michigan

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