My AP Poll ballot: Week 11

Written by Sam Werner on .

Each week, I'll go through my AP Top 25 ballot and give a few thoughts on how I voted and how it compares to the overall poll results.

I finally made a change at the top of the poll this week, and there was some minor shuffling going on throughout, but overall there weren't many seismic shifts in the poll after a week where most ranked teams easily dispatched unranked opponents. Here's a link to this week's poll, and here's my ballot...

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Oregon
  4. Ohio State
  5. Baylor
  6. Stanford
  7. Clemson
  8. Auburn
  9. LSU
  10. Missouri
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. Oklahoma
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Miami (Fl.)
  15. South Carolina
  16. UCLA
  17. Texas Tech
  18. Central Florida
  19. Louisville
  20. Wisconsin
  21. Northern Illinois
  22. Michigan State
  23. Notre Dame
  24. Fresno State
  25. Arizona State

- For the first time all season, I made a change to my top two. This is no real knock on Oregon, but it's impossible to ignore what the Seminoles have done this season. You could make a strong argument that Florida State's best two wins (at Clemson and vs. Miami) are both better than Oregon's best win (vs. UCLA). If the Ducks put together a comfortable victory at Stanford Thursday night, there's probably a good chance they'll move back ahead of Florida State. For now, though, the 'Noles get the nod for their really impressive résumé.

- Miami drops out of the top 10 to No. 14. There's been a sense over the last few weeks as the Hurricanes eked out wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest that they were a sort of pretender top 10 team, and that was exposed to an extent Saturday night. Florida State didn't play its best game, and Miami took advantage to hang around for a little bit, but they were outclassed by the Seminoles in the end. Mind you, Florida State has made a lot of teams look silly this year, so that's not a huge knock on the 'Canes. The big question for them moving forward is how they can deal with the loss of running back Duke Johnson for the season, as they have a huge game Saturday against Virginia Tech that could very well decide the ACC Coastal division.

- Oklahoma State continues its rise up the polls to No. 11 on my ballot this week after pulling away in a shootout win at Texas Tech. The Cowboys still have a ton of question marks, but the offense appears to be sort of coming together, even if it isn't a typical pass-heavy Mike Gundy attack. I've been very impressed with running back Desmond Roland these last few weeks, and think Oklahoma State is now a legitimate threat to Baylor in the Big 12.

- I was surprised to see that I am the highest of any voter on Texas Tech at No. 17. The last two losses weren't good, but the Red Raiders hung with Oklahoma for 59 minutes in Norman and fought back valiantly after falling behind early to the Cowboys this week. They're not a top 15 team, but I do think the Red Raiders would beat the teams I have below them this week. They play Kansas State Saturday, though, and a loss there would definitely knock them out of the polls.

- The only new team to enter my top 25 this week was Michigan State, which took the place of Virginia Tech. The Spartans defense looked absolutely dominant against Michigan, and truly did stake its claim as one of the best in the country (if not THE best). Michigan State has a week off before back-to-back road games at Nebraska and Northwestern. I have Michigan State ahead of Notre Dame, even though the Irish beat the Spartans, because while the Spartan's were dominating a Michigan team that beat Notre Dame, the Irish were clawing to eke out a win against Navy.

- I also dropped Fresno State a few spots to No. 24 because, for the second week in a row, the Bulldogs failed to dominate a team that they really should if they want to be a BCS buster. They beat Nevada, but it took all four quarters to do it. I feel similarly about Fresno State and Northern Illinois: Both are good teams, but I just don't see them as the Boise State-type squad that could legitimately challenge another top 15 team. 

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