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My AP Top 25 ballot: USF drops out, Miami slips

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

29

October

A few quick notes on my latest AP Top 25 ballot:
USF dropped completely out of my rankings. I was lower on the Bulls than many of my fellow voters, because of the eye test and a very weak schedule. USF can still have a fine year and get back in my Top 25, but I can't justify ranking the Bulls right now after losing at home to Houston. USF's best win is probably a six-point victory at Tulane - the same Tulane team that Memphis trounced this weekend by 30.
Ohio State's comeback win over Penn State was great for the Buckeyes, of course. The other big winner? Oklahoma. Head-to-head wins are trump cards, to me, with comparable resumes. The Sooners and Buckeyes are both 7-1, so OU's double-digit win in Columbus matters a lot. That's why OU jumped all the way to third on my ballot, with Ohio State at fourth.
I dropped Miami three spots, to No. 8. I try not to penalize teams for winning conference games on the road, but barely beating a bad UNC team dented my view of the ‘Canes. That's the same UNC team, by the way, that Notre Dame beat by 23. Common opponents like that matter, too.
UCF rose one spot, to No. 14, in my rankings. I thought about bumping the Knights ahead of Virginia Tech, too, but we'll get a better feel for the Hokies when they play at Miami on Saturday.
I dropped Washington State from 16th to No. 25 ... below a USC team it beat. It breaks my rule, but the Trojans' resume is significantly better than Washington State's.
USF and West Virginia were the two teams that fell out of my Top 25. LSU returned to my rankings, which welcomed Arizona into the mix.
Here's the AP Top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning:
1. Alabama (8-0)
2. Georgia (8-0)
3. Oklahoma (7-1)
4. Ohio State (7-1)
5. Clemson (7-1)
6. Notre Dame (7-1)
7. Wisconsin (8-0)
8. Miami (7-0)
9. Penn State (7-1)
10. TCU (7-1)
11. Oklahoma State (7-1)
12. Washington (7-1)
13. Virginia Tech 7-1)
14. UCF (7-0)
15. Iowa State (6-2)
16. Auburn (6-2)
17. USC (7-2)
18. Stanford (6-2)
19. North Carolina State (6-2)
20. Mississippi State (6-2)
21. Memphis (7-1)
22. Michigan State (6-2)
23. LSU (6-2)
24. Arizona (6-2)
25. Washington State (7-2)

[Last modified: Sunday, October 29, 2017 10:16am]

    

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