Here is the ballot I just sent in to the Associated Press.
5. Florida State
7. South Carolina
8. Notre Dame
9. West Virginia
11. Southern California
12. Kansas State
15. Ohio State
17. Boise State
20. Michigan State
25. Iowa State
Also considered: Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Texas Tech.
- Southern California moved from No. 2 to No. 11. I felt it was an appropriate drop, and okay to stay ahead of unbeaten teams that don't have a signature victory yet. (Sorry Clemson fans, Auburn doesn't count.)
- Stanford and Notre Dame make the biggest moves. I was tempted to move Notre Dame up further, because the win at Michigan State is very impressive, but Georgia and South Carolina have road wins too, and Notre Dame barely got by Purdue.
- Virginia Tech, BYU and Arizona State all leave the poll after suffering their first losses. Virginia Tech's inexplicable loss at Pittsburgh is the week's most surprising result, other than perhaps USC-Stanford.
- Florida moves up after being No. 24 in my poll last week. The Gators have two tough road wins, at Texas A&M and Tennessee, even if those aren't top 25 teams. So I moved the Gators over a bunch of other teams, but stopped at Kansas State and Texas, because they've had impressive wins.
- Moving into my top 25 this week are Arizona, Northwestern and Iowa State. Truth be told, Iowa State's resume' isn't all that great, and I wouldn't bet on the Cyclones against some teams I've banished from the top 25 because of bad losses. (Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Virginia Tech). But for now, you are what your record states.
- At the top of the poll, Alabama is as clear a No. 1 as you can get at this point of the season. After that, I feel good about LSU at No. 2, but you could certainly argue for a number of teams at No. 3. Yes, Oklahoma hasn't been quite impressive, but Oregon and Florida State haven't played anyone challenging yet either. That changes this week: Oklahoma plays Kansas State, Florida State gets Clemson and Oregon plays Arizona. All top 25 matchups. So this part of the poll will start sorting itself out very soon.