Sunday, October 17, 2021

My AP top-25 ballots: Alabama and Georgia top, Cincinnati climbs, Arizona returns to state

Highlights of the ballot…

– Alabama and Georgia remained on top after victories over ranked opponents (Mississippi and Arkansas, respectively), while Iowa and Penn State changed places, with hockey now the No. 3 team.

– Following the win at Notre Dame, Cincinnati jumped nine places to fifth this week.

The Bearcats are undefeated with a two-point road win, and are still a top-10 team (at least on my ballot). That’s good enough for a top-five spot, ahead of Oklahoma schools, Oregon and Ohio State.

(Yes, both Oklahoma schools: Cowboys beat Baylor and deserve top-10 rankings.)

– Speaking of Oregon: After losing overtime to Stanford, the Ducks dropped only three places to No. 8.

Their limited slide was partly due to development elsewhere: Half the teams on the ballot lost, including four in the top 10.

What’s more, I believe the Ducks should be placed ahead of Ohio State, at least while they have similar disadvantages. And the Buckeyes, who stunned Rutgers, are guaranteed a spot in the top 10.

– After an easy victory at UCLA, Arizona State returned to the ballot, placing 19th.

The Sun Devils have suffered a loss to a ranked rival (BYU), and can now claim a quality victory.

– We considered Oregon State for a spot at the bottom of the ballot.

But even though they are 4-1 and up Pac-12 north, the Beavers have lost to unranked Purdue (which just lost to unranked Minnesota) and have no victories over ranked opponents.

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It makes no sense to beat USC (3-2) and Washington (2-3) when evaluating a team’s qualification for the Top 25.

In fact, the Beavers are not scheduled to face a ranked opponent until the end of the season, when they play ASU and Oregon back-to-back.

If they keep winning, we will assess again. But at the moment, his resume doesn’t clear our bar at all.

— Deleted from the ballot this week: Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Fresno State, UCLA and LSU.

– New to the ballot this week: Kentucky, ASU, Clemson, Texas and Wake Forest.

1. Alabama
2. Georgia
3. Iowa
4. Penn State
5. Cincinnati
6. Oklahoma
7. Oklahoma State
8. Oregon
9. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
11. Michigan State
12. Auburn
13. Michigan
14. Brigham Young
15. Arkansas
16. Kentucky
17. Coastal Carolina
18. Mississippi
19. Arizona State
20. Florida
21. Clemson
22. Baylor
23. Texas
24. Kansas State
25. Wake Forest

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