Skip to content

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.

Dropped out

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 or

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.