Here is how my top 25 ballot, just filed to the Associated Press home office, looked this week.
3. Ohio State
6. Florida State
11. Texas A&M
13. South Carolina
20. Northern Illinois
21. Texas Tech
22. Fresno State
23. Virginia Tech
In: Missouri, Nebraska.
Out: Northwestern, Notre Dame.
- We are officially at the time of year where it's about body of work. That means teams are behind teams they have beaten, such as Georgia behind LSU and South Carolina, Oklahoma ranked and Texas not, and so on. It's body of work, with head-to-head figuring heavily into it, but not the be-all end-all.
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- Missouri jumps all the way to No. 12 after not being ranked. I didn't rank Mizzou last week because of its schedule, but the road win at Georgia, even injury-riddled Georgia, validates the Tigers. But I still have them behind Texas A&M and LSU because of body of work, and that the Aggies and Tigers' only losses are to ranked teams. But really, you could put those four teams (Texas A&M, Missouri, South Carolina and Stanford) in any order.
- Florida, Georgia and Washington all stay in the top 20 with two losses, and Oklahoma does as well despite a loss to Texas. Why? Because no one below the top 20 is just screaming that they belong higher. Northern Illinois only beat Akron by a touchdown. Virginia Tech only beat Pittsburgh by 10. Texas Tech, Fresno State and Auburn have suspect schedules.
- That said, one of the last changes I made was moving Nebraska in and dropping out Notre Dame. Nebraska is 5-1, and its only loss is to unbeaten UCLA, so I felt its resume' was deserving of being in the top 25. Notre Dame was idle, but had remained in the poll on the strength of quality losses, which aren't as quality anymore after Oklahoma and Michigan lost.
- I'm one of the stragglers on this, but I finally moved Oregon to No. 2, ahead of Ohio State. I'd been thinking about it for awhile, and with Oregon's convincing win at Washington, I think the Ducks have the resume' to force the issue.