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More changes than usual on our AP top 25 ballot

Here’s where we put Pitt, Penn State, Cincinnati and Oklahoma after another weird college football weekend.
Pitt's SirVocea Dennis and the rest of the Panthers are on the verge of our AP voter's top 10.
Pitt's SirVocea Dennis and the rest of the Panthers are on the verge of our AP voter's top 10. [ KEITH SRAKOCIC | AP ]
Published Oct. 24

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.

Related: Let’s talk about Dan Mullen’s long-term future at Florida

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.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and the rest of the Nittany Lions suffered a bad loss to Illinois.
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and the rest of the Nittany Lions suffered a bad loss to Illinois. [ BARRY REEGER | AP ]

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.

Related: What USF football can learn from this round of AAC expansion

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:

1. Georgia

2. Cincinnati

3. Alabama

4. Oregon

5. Ohio State

6. Michigan

7. Oklahoma

8. Michigan State

9. Iowa

10. Mississippi

11. Pitt

12. Notre Dame

13. Kentucky

14. Texas A&M

15. Oklahoma State

16. Wake Forest

17. Baylor

18. Penn State

19. Auburn

20. SMU

21. San Diego State

22. Texas San Antonio

23. Iowa State

24. Coastal Carolina

25. BYU

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