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Our AP top 25 ballot: Cincinnati down, Oklahoma State up

Here’s our AP voter’s weekly explainer on who he voted where and why.
Cincinnati beat USF on Friday night but didn't look dominant, either.
Cincinnati beat USF on Friday night but didn't look dominant, either. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Nov. 14
Updated Nov. 14

My weekly AP top 25 ballot featured a few changes at the top and plenty of movement farther down. I dropped Cincinnati from third to fifth on my ballot after watching the Bearcats beat USF on Friday night. Cincinnati is a good team — maybe even a very good one — but I was still underwhelmed, as I wrote from the game. Accordingly, I dropped the Bearcats below Oregon and Ohio State.

Related: Cincinnati doesn’t look like a College Football Playoff team in win over USF

I continue to put the Ducks ahead of the Buckeyes because of their head-to-head win. However, I don’t feel as good about it because Ohio State looks excellent. A Buckeyes win over Michigan State this Saturday might be enough to change my mind.

Oklahoma State leapt Michigan State and Michigan and moved all the way to seventh. The Cowboys’ only loss was a close one to Iowa State, and they have a good win over Baylor with three consecutive blowout wins. They’ve certainly looked better recently than Oklahoma (which dropped to 10th after the Baylor loss).

I moved Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies down to 14th — a four-spot drop after losing to Mississippi. The Rebels are up to 12th in my rankings.

San Diego State is now in my top 20 thanks to a nice win over a good Nevada team. I moved the Aztecs ahead of Houston in the process.

Related: The one play that changed the trajectory of FSU, Miami

Utah and Louisiana Lafayette entered my rankings this week. Coastal Carolina and Auburn dropped out. Penn State (6-4) hung onto the final spot because the Nittany Lions have been competitive in every loss (three of them against top-16 teams) and because of their wins over Auburn and Wisconsin. North Carolina State, SMU and Arizona State were among the other teams I considered.

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

1. Georgia

2. Alabama

3. Oregon

4. Ohio State

5. Cincinnati

6. Notre Dame

7. Oklahoma State

8. Michigan State

9. Michigan

10. Oklahoma

11. Wake Forest

12. Mississippi

13. Baylor

14. Texas A&M

15. BYU

16. Iowa

17. Pitt

18. Texas San Antonio

19. Wisconsin

20. San Diego State

21. Houston

22. Arkansas

23. Utah

24. Louisiana Lafayette

25. Penn State

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