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Friday, Sep 21, 2018
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My AP Top 25 ballot: UCF moves into the top 15, Michigan falls out

No major changes in my latest AP Top 25 ballot.

Last week, I struggled with 5-9. This week, it was 5-10 (Hi, Notre Dame!). You could justify ranking Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin and the Irish in almost any order, and I wouldn't argue much. I decided not to change 5-9 from last week, because Clemson and the Buckeyes were both off, and I don't think I learned enough from the solid wins Miami, OU and Wisconsin put together to warrant a change.

Notre Dame moves into my top 10 after throttling a USC team that has looked shaky most of the season. I thought about putting the Irish higher, but I didn't think any of the teams above them deserved to fall. 

UCF moves into my top 15 thanks to a 10-point win at a good Navy team. The Knights' previous 27-point win over Memphis looks better, too, after the Tigers rallied to beat Houston on Thursday night.

USF stays steady at No. 20 after holding on for a 34-28 win at Tulane. I follow the Joey Knight school of thought, about generally not penalizing a team for winning a conference game on the road, but I didn't feel the need to reward USF for this one, either. The Bulls' biggest problem remains their schedule (No. 126 nationally in the updated Sagarin ratings).

Washington State fell five spots to No. 16. It's partially a continuation of last week's loss to Cal, and it's partially due to the fact beating USC doesn't look as impressive now as it did.

San Diego State fell out of my rankings, and so did Michigan. I wasn't too high on the Wolverines to begin with, and a blowout loss to Penn State was the final straw. Welcome to my Top 25, Iowa State, and welcome back, Mississippi State.

Here's the ballot I submitted Sunday morning;
1. Alabama (8-0)
2. Georgia (7-0)
3. TCU (7-0)
4. Penn State (7-0)
5. Miami (6-0)
6. Clemson (6-1)
7. Oklahoma (6-1)
8. Ohio State (6-1)
9. Wisconsin (7-0)
10. Notre Dame (6-1)
11. Oklahoma State (6-1)
12. Washington (6-1)
13. Virginia Tech (6-1)
14. North Carolina State (6-1)
15. UCF (6-0)
16. Washington State (7-1)
17. Michigan State (6-1)
18. Auburn (6-2)
19. USC (6-2)
20. USF (7-0)
21. Stanford (5-2)
22. West Virginia (5-2)
23. Memphis (6-1)
24. Iowa State (5-2)
25. Mississippi State (5-2)

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