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College Hotline - My AP top-25 football ballot: Alabama remains No. 1, Michigan State...

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    (AP Photo)

    Highlights from the ballot …

    Pressed for time because of post-Big Game assignments, so this will be short and sweet (or, more likely, sour).

    *** Moved Michigan State to No. 2 (up four spots) after the win in Columbus.

    The Spartans now have victories over Oregon, Michigan, Air Force and Ohio State. That adds up to the second-best resume, behind only Alabama, which is No. 1 on the ballot for the fifth consecutive week.

    Michigan State owns a much stronger SOS and has more quality wins than Iowa, which is undefeated but hasn’t played any of the B1G East powers (Spartans, Buckeyes, Wolverines) and didn’t face a team of Oregon’s quality out of conference.

    Basically: The Spartans’ edge in schedule difficulty and quality wins trumps Iowa’s edge in record (11-0 vs 10-1).

    It can’t all be about wins and losses, especially this deep in the season.

    *** Baylor returned to the ballot after a brief absence.

    To summarize: The pathetic schedule meant keeping Baylor on the ballot for all those weeks based largely on faith. The Bears finally played a quality opponent, lost, and were removed because they has no results to stand on.

    Now that they have a quality win — finally! — they’re back on.

    Worth repeating: The AP encourages voters to make significant changes to ballots from week to week in order to root out preseason hype and discrepancies in schedules.


    *** Ohio State dropped all the way to No. 21 on this week’s ballot, a 16-spot plunge.

    Severe? Yes, but …

    The Buckeyes were treated much like Baylor, with a ballot position based more on faith than SOS and quality wins.

    Like Baylor last week, the Buckeyes finally played an elite opponent and lost, leaving little on the resume to justify a top-10/15 position.

    Why not remove OSU from the ballot altogether, as I did with Baylor?

    Because the Buckeyes profile is slightly stronger at this point — better SOS, a few more quality wins — than Baylor’s was following its loss to Oklahoma.

    *** Navy jumped four spots to No. 10, not because of its win over Tulsa but the overall strengthening of its resume due to results elsewhere.

    Don’t disregard Navy because it’s a triple-option service academy that hasn’t contended in eons. The Middies have a terrific profile: Only loss at Notre Dame, victories over multiple teams with 7+ wins.

    The ballot …



    1. Alabama
    2. Michigan State
    3. Clemson
    4. Notre Dame
    5. Iowa
    6. Oklahoma
    7. Michigan
    8. Stanford
    9. Florida
    10. Navy
    11. Baylor
    12. Oregon
    13. Oklahoma State
    14. Florida State
    15. UNC
    16. Northwestern
    17. TCU
    18. Washington State
    19. Temple
    20. Mississippi
    21. Ohio State
    22. UCLA
    23. Pittsburgh
    24. Mississippi State
    25. Air Force

    xxxxxxx

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    The post My AP top-25 football ballot: Alabama remains No. 1, Michigan State climbs, Ohio State plunges appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner
     

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