This week’s AP top 25 ballot had more changes than usual thanks to a few weird games.
I kept Cincinnati at No. 2 despite a one-score win at 1-6 Navy. Service academies are tricky, and the Bearcats have earned the benefit of the doubt; their win over Notre Dame looks better after the Irish’s 31-16 win over USC.
Oklahoma, however, has not earned that benefit of the doubt. The Sooners have been shaky and did not impress me against Kansas. That’s why I dropped Oklahoma from third to seventh.
Oregon rose to fourth on my ballot after beating UCLA. A large part of that decision is because the Ducks’ best win, Ohio State, continues to look excellent as the Buckeyes roll through their schedule. I don’t understand why other voters continue to put Ohio State ahead of Oregon when that was decided on the field in Columbus. As long as they remain comparable and have the same record, the Ducks should be ahead of the Buckeyes.
I had been skeptical of Pitt, but a 27-17 victory over Clemson convinced me. That’s why the Panthers leapt six spots to 11th on my ballot (and I strongly considered putting them in my top 10).
Oklahoma State dropped three spots to 15th after the close loss at Iowa State. Penn State tumbled nine after the nine-overtime debacle against Illinois.
Clemson and North Carolina State both dropped off my ballot this week. I also considered dropping Coastal Carolina out after their weeknight loss at Appalachian State but kept the Chanticleers on my ballot at 24th.
Iowa State entered at No. 23 thanks to that victory over the Cowboys. BYU also rejoined the mix ahead of a group that includes Virginia, Houston, Fresno State and Arkansas.
There are no state teams in my rankings, again. None of them warranted consideration, either.
Here’s my weekly AP top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:
5. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
12. Notre Dame
14. Texas A&M
15. Oklahoma State
16. Wake Forest
18. Penn State
21. San Diego State
22. Texas San Antonio
23. Iowa State
24. Coastal Carolina
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