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College Hotline - My AP top-25 ballot: Ohio State is the new (old) No. 1, Louisville soars

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 18, 2016.

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    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    (Credit: AP Photo)

    Plenty of meaty results this weekend, so let’s get to it …

    *** I moved Ohio State into the No. 1 position after its convincing victory at Oklahoma — a true road win, as opposed to many of the other impressive victories thus far, which have largely come at home or at neutral sites.

    As some readers might recall, Ohio State is my pick to win the national title and, as a result, was my preseason No. 1. (My preseason poll is a projection of finish.)

    I dropped the Buckeyes out of that position once the results began rolling in: They played two cupcakes and didn’t deserve the top spot ahead of teams that registered quality wins.

    The three-touchdown win in Norman prompted a reconfiguration … to the original configuration.

    *** Louisville jumped into the No. 2 spot, all the way from N. 19 last week, after dismantling Florida State (in Louisville).

    Yes, that’s a big jump, but it was a big win and big jumps are necessary to weed out preseason bias.

    *** Alabama, which had been No. 1 the past two weeks, fell to No. 3.

    That’s right, the Crimson Tide dropped two spots after a conference road win over a ranked team. Here’s why:

    The Tide’s dominating Week One win over USC lost some of its shine with the Trojans’ listless showing at Stanford — that cannot be considered a quality win for the Tide at this point. (If USC improves, I’ll reassess.)

    That leaves Bama’s win at Ole Miss as its lone early-season calling card: A quality win, sure, but not quite at the level of Ohio State over Oklahoma or Louisville over Florida State.

    *** Michigan State was the other big riser, soaring from No. 24 to No. 6 after winning in South Bend.

    I wasn’t sold on the Spartans prior to the season — hence their low ranking. But again, big moves (up or down) are the best was to root out preconceptions and create a results-based ballot.

    Notre Dame clearly isn’t an elite team at this point — the Texas loss at Cal is additional evidence — but MSU’s showing in South Bend stands as a better result than all but a handful of teams can claim at this point.

    *** Clemson is No. 9, which assuredly will be several spots lower than the Tigers’ ranking in the AP poll.

    My reasoning: They beat Auburn at Auburn, which lost some of its luster this weekend because Texas A&M just won on The Plains.

    Otherwise, Clemson has two creampuff wins — the totality of their results to date are not as impressive as the eight teams ahead of them:

    Ohio State won at Oklahoma
    Louisville hammered Florida State
    Alabama won at Ole Miss
    Houston beat Oklahoma
    Michigan State won at Notre Dame
    Wisconsin beat LSU
    Texas A&M won at Auburn but also beat UCLA
    Arkansas won at TCU

    Again, all eight have better wins and/or a more impressive combination of wins than the Tigers.

    The ballot:

    1. Ohio State
    2. Louisville
    3. Alabama
    4. Houston
    5. Michigan State
    6. Wisconsin
    7. Texas A&M
    8. Arkansas
    9. Clemson
    10. Michigan
    11. Stanford
    12. Washington
    13. LSU
    14. TCU
    15. Florida State
    16. San Diego State
    17. UCLA
    18. Miami
    19. Georgia
    20. Oklahoma
    21. Utah
    22. Nebraska
    23. Tennessee
    24. Oklahoma State
    25. Florida

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    * Episode 1 of the College Hotline podcast, with ESPN’s Ted Miller as guest (we discussed Washington’s rise, UCLA’s transformation to power football, USC’s issues, Utah’s life in the shadows, the Pac-12’s position in the playoff race and loads more):

    The post My AP top-25 ballot: Ohio State is the new (old) No. 1, Louisville soars appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner

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