Campus Corner

Rustin Dodd’s weekly AP college football poll ballot

Updated: 2013-09-16T15:43:22Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

Editor’s note: The Star’s Rustin Dodd has a vote in the Associated Press poll this college football season. Each week, he’ll provide an explanation for his ballot.

If you’re wondering if the rest of college football can stop Nick Saban and Alabama from hoisting the crystal football for a third straight year, here’s a quick pro tip: Look up the Crimson Tide’s schedule, and gaze in wonder at the next six weeks. Go ahead, do it.

After vanquishing Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel in College Station on Saturday, Alabama may not face another viable threat until it plays host to LSU on Nov. 9.

From next week, through the end of October, Alabama will face a potpourri of lightweights, basketball schools — and one intriguing challenger (Ole Miss on Sept. 28).

Here’s the six-week run: Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State, at Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.

All that said, it may take something special from No. 2 Oregon (or someone else) to push Alabama out of the top spot in the rankings. So another week, another No. 1 ranking for the Tide. As always, here’s my ballot for the latest Associated Press poll, which came out on Sunday morning.

1 Alabama (1)

2 Oregon (2)

3 Ohio State (4)

4 Clemson (3)

5 Stanford (5)

6 LSU (6)

7 Texas A&M (10)

8 Louisville (7)

9 Georgia (9)

10 Florida State (8)

11 Oklahoma State (11)

12 Michigan (15)

13 South Carolina (13)

14 Oklahoma (14)

15 Washington (17)

16 Miami (16)

17 UCLA (13)

18 Florida (19)

19 Baylor (20)

20 Northwestern (18)

21 Notre Dame (22)

22 Arizona State (23)

23 Ole Miss (21)

24 Fresno State (NR)

25 Wisconsin (24)

DROPPED OUT: Nebraska (23); TCU (24)

DROPPED IN: Ole Miss (23); Fresno State (24)

POLL THOUGHTS:

… Compared to the majority of voters, we weren’t as hard on Texas A&M; while the Aggies dropped to No. 10 in the latest poll after losing 49-42 to Alabama, we moved Texas A&M down just one spot on the ballot, below No. 6 LSU. It’s hard to punish a team too much for losing to the consensus best team in the nation — and two-time BCS champ. But the Aggies do have some real issues on defense, and they must back up their gritty showing against Alabama with some more complete performances in the SEC. If not, there are plenty of teams that will have a solid argument to move ahead of Texas A&M. Speaking of…

… How good is Florida State? It would certainly be hard for the Seminoles to look much better. After blowing the doors of Pitt in its opener, Florida State came off a bye and roughed up Nevada 62-7. Unfortunately, the Seminoles won’t have the opportunity for a statement victory until they travel to Clemson on Oct. 19.

… UCLA dominated on the road at Nebraska, rolling the Huskers 41-21 after a slow start. And the Bruins have to be considered a dark horse candidate to unseat Oregon or Stanford in the Pac-12. But we’re not sure their victory at Nebraska is much more impressive than Washington throttling Boise State. The Bruins’ next major test comes on Oct. 19, when they travel to Stanford.

… Fresno State still hasn’t graced the Top 25, but the Bulldogs are back on our ballot after a 2-0 start. The Bulldogs didn’t play this past weekend — their road test at Colorado was postponed because of severe flooding in Boulder — but they host Boise State in a primetime matchup on Friday. The contest could be a preview of the Mountain West title game — and it should give Fresno State a chance to burnish its national credentials.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here