My AP top 25 ballot had shakeups from No. 2 to No. 25, and many, many places in the middle.
Ohio State moved ahead of Alabama for the second spot after crushing Michigan State. I dropped the Spartans from eighth to 15th, which might not have been steep enough. But Michigan State’s win over Michigan is still strong and a selling point over the No. 16 team on my ballot, Wisconsin (which lost to the Wolverines).
Cincinnati is back into my top four. I was critical of the Bearcats after watching them beat USF in person. That’s because they didn’t play as well at Raymond James Stadium as they did Saturday in a 48-14 win over a good SMU team. If Cincinnati looks like that the rest of the season, it will deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Utah was the biggest riser this week, leaping from 23rd to 12th after obliterating Oregon by 31. The Utes have found themselves after a 1-2 start (with losses to a pair of teams in my top 20, BYU and San Diego State). Oregon, however, had been artificially high with the win over Ohio State. The Ducks had been shaky, but I wasn’t going to dump a one-loss team that beat the Buckeyes. Now Oregon is 13th on my ballot.
I moved Baylor ahead of Oklahoma (which I should have done last week) and Wisconsin ahead of Iowa (same). I dropped Texas San Antonio three spots to No. 21 after a crazy win over Alabama Birmingham, but that was more of a product of my increased respect for Houston, San Diego State and the Badgers more than it was a dig against the Roadrunners.
The bottom of my ballot became an ACC cluster with North Carolina State, Clemson and Wake Forest, in that order. The Demon Deacons’ 21-point loss to the Tigers led to their fall from 11th to 25th but kept them ahead of Penn State (which fell out of my rankings). Arkansas also dropped out to help make room for the Wolfpack and Clemson.
Here’s the AP top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Oklahoma State
14. Texas A&M
15. Michigan State
19. San Diego State
21. Texas San Antonio
22. Louisiana Lafayette
23. North Carolina State
25. Wake Forest
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