The AP top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning looks very, very different from the one I submitted last week, starting at the top.
I moved Georgia back to No. 1 on my ballot (ahead of Alabama) after the Bulldogs demolished Arkansas. ESPN’s SP+ metrics liked Georgia better, anyway, and crushing a top-10 Razorbacks team is the best result either team has. The Crimson Tide’s win over Florida also looks less impressive after the Gators lost at Kentucky (which we’ll get to momentarily). The gap between Georgia and ‘Bama is small, but I’m giving the slight edge to the Bulldogs this week.
UF fell from sixth on my ballot to 19th after the 20-13 defeat. I expected to drop the Gators more than that because Kentucky’s resume isn’t great (close wins over middling teams like South Carolina and Missouri). But there were other factors, too. UF outgained Kentucky 382-224, which tells you more about how the Gators played. The Wildcats are undefeated and at least a solid team (which is why I moved them from unranked to 18th). Add in UF’s close loss to Alabama and a win over Tennessee (which blew out Mizzou), and I settled on 19th for the Gators.
Some of the big risers on my ballot this week: Michigan (up from 12th to sixth), Arizona State (from unranked to 14th after upsetting UCLA) and Oklahoma State (from unranked to 17th).
Cincinnati is up to fifth after beating a pretty good Notre Dame team. I only dropped Arkansas from fourth to tenth after the blowout loss to Georgia. I think the Bulldogs are simply that good. Oregon remained in my top 10 (eighth) despite losing to Stanford in overtime. The Ducks didn’t have their offensive coordinator (Joe Moorhead) due to illness, which was a factor in my decision, and Oregon’s win over Ohio State remains impressive.
Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies dropped off my ballot after losing to Mississippi State. Maryland, UCLA, Baylor and Fresno State also fell out of my rankings. Their departures made way for the Sun Devils, Cowboys, Wildcats, Mississippi State and SMU.
Here’s the AP top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:
4. Penn State
9. Ohio State
12. Michigan State
14. Arizona State
15. Wake Forest
16. Coastal Carolina
17. Oklahoma State
20. Notre Dame
21. Mississippi State
22. North Carolina State
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