Here’s the ballot I submitted to the Associated Press this week for the Top 25 college football rankings.
1. Alabama (5-0) – Another easy win for ‘Bama, but the road gets tougher the next three weeks – at Arkansas and Tennessee, home vs. Texas A&M.
2. Clemson (5-0) – The Tigers knocked off Louisville, 42-36, in one of the most entertaining and competitive games we’ll see all year among top teams.
3. Ohio State (4-0) – Buckeyes rolled past Rutgers and seem to be a team on a mission.
4. Michigan (5-0) – It wasn’t pretty, but the Wolverines pulled off a solid win against a very good Wisconsin team.
5. Louisville (4-1) – I only dropped the Cardinals one spot after that loss to Clemson. Despite the loss, they proved they’re playoff-worthy.
6. Houston (5-0) – Cougars were impressive in a 42-14 win against UConn, avenging a tough loss from last season.
7. Washington (5-0) – The Huskies may have had the most impressive win of the week, crushing Stanford, 44-6.
8. Tennessee (5-0) – The Vols keep falling behind by double digits every week, but they keep finding ways to win.
9. Miami (4-0) – Hurricanes got their most impressive win of the season, 35-21 against Georgia Tech.
10. Baylor (5-0) – Bears had to work for it, but escaped with a 45-42 win against Iowa State.
11. Texas A&M (5-0) – Aggies got a solid win against South Carolina and keep their perfect season alive.
12. Stanford (3-1) – The Cardinal were humbled by Washington, and it was one of the most stunning games I’ve watched in recent years. I still think this is a very good team.
13. Wisconsin (4-1) – I actually moved the Badgers up one spot after the loss to Michigan. I did that for two reasons: 1) Florida State was ahead of them and lost and I didn’t think anyone below the Badgers deserved to jump them; and 2) I probably had the Badgers too low going into last week anyway.
14. Mississippi (3-2) – The best two-loss team in the country rolled past Memphis.
15. Oklahoma (2-2) – Sooners haven’t been great this year, but they got a very good win against TCU.
16. Nebraska (5-0) – The Huskers are quietly putting together a very good season an should be 7-0 going into Wisconsin in three weeks.
17. Boise State (4-0) – Broncos got past Utah State to remain unbeaten and should coast for a few weeks.
18. North Carolina (4-1) – Since an opening day loss to Georgia, the Tar Heels have looked very good, and they got an impressive win at Florida State, 37-35.
19. Florida State (3-2) – Seminoles were a national title contender coming into the year, but losing two of three has ended that dream. It’s still a team with top-10 talent.
20. Colorado (4-1) – The Buffs in the top 20??!! You bet. The “signature” win against Oregon doesn’t look as good after the Ducks lost a third straight, but nobody should diminish what that win meant for this team. They’re also the only team so far to have any success against Michigan’s defense.
21. TCU (3-2) – Horned Frogs had a great chance against Oklahoma, but coughed it up. They should get healthy at Kansas this week, though.
22. Arkansas (3-1) – It was easy for the Hogs last week against Alcorn State.
23. Florida (4-1) – Gators won ugly at Vanderbilt, but it was a nice rebound after a crushing loss at Tennessee.
24. Auburn (3-2) – I had a hard time picking the last couple of teams this week. Although the Tigers have two losses, they are to Clemson and Texas A&M and they’ve looked good in their wins.
25. UCLA (3-2) – I gave the Bruins this spot because they’ve played pretty well four weeks in a row. They did have a disappointing last-minute loss to Stanford, but came back to crush Arizona.
Michigan State (2-2) – They were routed by Wisconsin and then lost at Indiana in OT. Not a very good two weeks for the Spartans.
San Diego State (3-1) – With no Boise State on the schedule, the Aztecs had a real shot to go undefeated. A loss to South Alabama was surprising and disappointing for this program.
Texas (2-2) – We’re seeing that the opening day win against Notre Dame – which was supposed to signals Texas’ return – isn’t as impressive. Horns have lost back-to-back games to unranked teams.
Utah (4-1) – Utes had seven chances inside the 10 to beat Cal and stay unbeaten, and couldn’t score on any of those plays.
Georgia (3-2) – Bulldogs were THIS close to knocking off Tennessee and moving up in the rankings.
Knocking on the door
The three teams I have next in line for Top 25 spots:
Georgia (3-2) – I had the Bulldogs No. 25 last week and moved them down just one spot after that Hail Mary loss to Tennessee.
Michigan State (2-2) – If the Spartans aren’t careful this week against BYU, their season could go sour in a hurry. I had them No. 15 last week and still think they’re Top 25 caliber when they play well.
West Virginia (4-0) – Mountaineers haven’t played a difficult schedule, but have solid wins against BYU and Kansas State. They could make some noise in the Big 12.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.