Rustin Dodd’s weekly AP football poll ballot

09/30/2013 11:00 AM

09/30/2013 11:00 AM

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.

As we close the book on September, the full grind of conference play looming, let’s just get to the ballot, where we had a few changes near the top. As always, each team’s actual ranking in this week’s AP poll is in parentheses, and we offer a handful of poll thoughts below.

1 Alabama (1)

2 Oregon (2)

3 Clemson (3)

4 Stanford (5)

5 Ohio State (4)

6 Georgia (6)

7 Louisville (7)

8 LSU (10)

9 Texas A (9)

10 Oklahoma (11)

11 Florida State (8)

12 Washington (15)

13 Miami (14)

14 UCLA (12)

15 South Carolina (13)

16 Michigan (19)

17 Baylor (17)

18 Northwestern (16)

19 Oklahoma State (21)

20 Arizona State (22)

21 Florida (18)

22 Fresno State 23)

23 Ole Miss (24)

24 Texas Tech (20)

25 Wisconsin (NR)


Notre Dame




Five weeks into the season, you can start to put a little more emphasis on resume. Some team may have had a solid victory in week one or two, causing them to shoot up some ballots. But now, as we enter October, you can really start to judge the full body of work. As a result, I dropped Ohio State, previously ranked third here, to No. 5, behind Clemson and Stanford.

Clemson, of course, still possesses its season-opening victory over Georgia, which continues to look impressive as the Bulldogs took down LSU on Saturday. Clemson has backed it up with some solid performances, and Tajh Boyd (12 total touchdowns and zero interceptions) looks like a leading Heisman contender. Stanford, meanwhile, steamrolled an improved Washington State — one week after it manhandled Arizona State. Comparing scores can be a dangerous game, but the Sun Devils beat Wisconsin at home earlier this season — the same Wisconsin that fell to Ohio State 31-24 in Columbus on Saturday. It’s close, but Stanford and Clemson’s resumes just seem a little stronger than Ohio State’s — for now.

The Buckeyes will have a chance to make their case; unfortunately, they won’t get as many chances playing in the Big Ten.

• It’s been a weekly theme, but I’ve consistently ranked Florida State a little lower than the majority of voters. The Seminoles struggled a little bit at Boston College on Saturday, and they haven’t exactly played a brutal schedule. Still, they’ve dominated at times — and the victory over Pitt looks a little better now, after the Panthers won three straight. But with Maryland, 4-0, coming to Doak Campbell Stadium this week, they’ll have a chance to make a statement.

• Speaking of Maryland, the Terps could have been worthy of a spot in our ballot. But needing a team to replace Notre Dame, which lost at home to Oklahoma, we went against the grain and slotted a two-loss Wisconsin team at No. 25. The Badgers have suffered a controversial loss at Arizona State, and hung in there with Ohio State in Columbus — despite falling behind 31-14 in the second half. Eventually, Wisconsin is going to need to beat a good team to stay in the rankings. (The Badgers play host to Northwestern on Oct. 12.) But for now, they’ve looked like a top-25 team while playing a difficult schedule.


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