Here's how my Associated Press football top 25 ballot looked after this week's slate of games:
3. Florida State
4. Ohio State
12. Texas A&M
15. Texas Tech
16. South Carolina
17. Northern Illinois
18. Fresno State
20. Oklahoma State
24. Michigan State
Out: Virginia Tech, Nebraska.
In: Michigan State, Texas.
- Once again a reminder that my criteria is body of work, which includes head-to-head, but also quality wins and losses, bad losses, road record, eye test, etc. Hence Missouri is still ahead of South Carolina, LSU and South Carolina in the poll but Georgia not, and so forth.
- I briefly gave some thought to putting Florida State No. 2, after a somewhat lackluster Oregon win over UCLA. The Bruins are ranked, but it was at home, and Florida State's lone win over a ranked team was a rout on the road. I stuck with Oregon in the second spot, but you can't go wrong with either team.
- Miami was none too impressive in squeaking out a home win over Wake Forest. But a win is a win, and the Hurricanes are still unbeaten. I think it's fair to keep Miami as the lowest-ranked unbeaten team from a BCS conference.) Northern Illinois and Fresno State just aren't beating anybody impressive.) I also didn't drop Miami behind Stanford, which some other voters may do. But next week the Hurricanes play at Florida State, so that should sort it all out.
- How far to drop Missouri is a conundrum. The Tigers did lose at home, but it was to a ranked South Carolina team. Being behind fellow one-loss Auburn is obvious, but what about LSU and Texas A&M ... and South Carolina? I decided to keep Missouri ahead of the two-loss teams because none of their resume's completely jump out, what with Texas A&M having lost at home, LSU losing to Ole Miss, and South Carolina to Tennessee. (Last week I also had LSU ahead of Auburn, but this week I've flipped them, mainly because of a closer look at the whole picture.)
- It is with some hesitancy that I return Texas to the rankings. After all, the Longhorns lost to BYU and Ole Miss, who are currently unranked. But recent play has to be a factor too, and the Longhorns have won four in a row, including a win over Oklahoma, and two other games on the road. So Texas gets the nod at No. 25 over Notre Dame, the other team I considered, because Texas beat Oklahoma, while the Fighting Irish lost to the Sooners. I also seriously considered Arizona State (5-2), which lost at Stanford and Notre Dame, and owns a win over Wisconsin.
- The winner of next week's Georgia-Florida game has a chance to return to my ballot, depending on what else happens in the top 25.
- I'm also keeping an eye on, believe it or not, Minnesota (6-2) and Duke (6-2). Good overall records, and building some decent resumes. But not quite there yet. (Duke, for instance, lost at home to Georgia Tech, which is 5-3 and is working towards being worthy of consideration itself.)