Giglio's Top 25: FSU, Auburn, Michigan State, then questions

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 7, 2014 

  • Joe Giglio’s Final Top 25

    Rk. TeamPrevious
    1. Florida State 2
    2. Auburn 1
    3. Michigan State 4
    4. South Carolina 7
    5. Central Florida 9
    6. Baylor 5
    7. Oklahoma 11
    8. Alabama 3
    9. Missouri 8
    10. Clemson 14
    11. Stanford 10
    12. Oregon 15
    13. Louisiana State 16
    14. Louisville 13
    15. Oklahoma State 12
    16. Ohio State 6
    17. Arizona State 17
    18. UCLA 18
    19. Texas A&M 25
    20. Notre Dame NR
    21. Southern California NR
    22. Duke 23
    23. Wisconsin 19
    24. North Dakota State NR
    25. Northern Illinois 21

    Out: Georgia (20), Fresno State (22), Miami (24).

Note: Joe Giglio is one of 60 AP voters.

The BCS ended with a great season by Florida State (14-0) and a great game between the Seminoles and Auburn.

The top three spots were not difficult to sort. Michigan State (13-1) moved up to No. 3 after consecutive wins against Ohio State and Stanford. The two-loss teams behind Auburn were more difficult to put in order.

The natural response in the final rankings is to react to the bowl results, but you have to vote based on the whole season. South Carolina (12-2) beat Clemson and Central Florida during the regular season. Both wins are more impressive than South Carolina’s pedestrian Capital One Bowl win against Wisconsin and put the Gamecocks at No. 4.

At No. 5, I have UCF, which beat Louisville (12-1) during the regular season and Baylor (11-2) in the Fiesta Bowl. The Golden Knights also get credit for a close call (28-25 on Sept. 28) against South Carolina.

I was impressed by the whipping Oklahoma (11-2) gave Alabama (11-2), but I can’t rank the Sooners ahead of Baylor, which has the same record and beat Oklahoma by 29 on Nov. 7. So I have Baylor at No. 6, followed by Oklahoma and then Alabama.

The final AP poll has Oklahoma at No. 6 and Baylor at No. 13, but that’s an overreaction to what happened in the bowls.

Ohio State (12-2) finished No. 12 in the AP, but I have the Buckeyes at No. 16. After losing to Michigan State and Clemson, the best win by Urban Meyer’s team was against Wisconsin or maybe it was San Diego State (8-5), which beat Buffalo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. I think you get the point.

Lastly, for the first time in nine years, I have a Championship Subdivision team on my ballot. North Dakota State (15-0) opened the season with a 24-21 win at Kansas State and closed it with four playoff wins by a combined score of 173-42. That’s dominance.

So long, BCS, you will not be missed. The top 25 won’t matter as much in 2014, when a selection committee will choose the four best teams, but I’m looking forward to college football’s new postseason.

Thanks for reading this season.

Giglio: 919-829-8938 or twitter.com/jwgiglio

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