Sports

Epic results on both coasts bring changes to one AP Top 25 football ballot

Lightning flashes in the sky beyond Husky Stadium during a weather delay in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game between Washington and California, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Seattle. Fans were directed to seek shelter in nearby buildings due to severe weather in the area.
Lightning flashes in the sky beyond Husky Stadium during a weather delay in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game between Washington and California, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Seattle. Fans were directed to seek shelter in nearby buildings due to severe weather in the area. AP Photo

Surprises on two coasts, spread over two days, brought changes to the Associated Press Top 25 hierarchy.

In the east, Maryland delivered a punch to the ACC (without a pesky buyout fee this time) by rocking Syracuse 63-20. The only other ACC team in the top 25, expected to be the lone squad that could maybe, probably, kind of challenge Clemson got run over by Scottie Montgomery’s offense.

Goodbye, Orange. And the 2-0 Terps move on to my ballot.

Syracuse_Maryland_Football_25396.jpg
Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson (17) passes the football during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in College Park, Md. Will Newton AP Photo

In the west, a Biblical storm hit Seattle to knock out power and delay California’s game at Washington nearly three hours into Sunday morning’s wee hours.

When it finally ended at 4:22 a.m. Eastern time, the Bears pulled off a stunning 20-19 win over the Huskies, the Pac-12 favorite and the highest-ranked team from that league.

So Washington falls out and is replaced by the 2-0 Golden Bears. That’s at least for this week anyway.

Those were the only newcomers and departures for me.

I did some shuffling among the top 10 based on LSU’s impressive 45-38 shootout win at Texas. That earned the Tigers a bump up past Oklahoma into the top five.

On the other hand, Michigan’s unimpressive 24-21 double-overtime escape of a win over Army shows the Wolverines needed to fall a bit. That offense needs work or losses will be coming soon.

You’ll notice Texas and Texas A&M stayed right where they were despite losses. That’s because of who beat them. They weren’t supposed to beat LSU and Clemson. So they don’t get penalized.

At the bottom the ballot, while elevating Maryland and Cal, others in consideration were North Carolina,Colorado and Southern Cal. They are right there and will move in if they keep winning and somebody (inevitably) stumbles.

Here’s my new ballot filed Sunday morning (with last week’s ranking on my ballot in parenthesis)

Steve Wiseman’s AP top 25 football ballot

  1. Clemson (1)

  2. Alabama (2)

  3. Georgia (3)

  4. Ohio State (4)

  5. LSU (6)

  6. Oklahoma (5)

  7. Notre Dame (7)

  8. Auburn (10)

  9. Michigan (8)

  10. Texas (10)

  11. Texas A&M (11)

  12. Florida (12)

  13. Penn State (13)

  14. Utah (15)

  15. Wisconsin (16)

  16. Iowa (17)

  17. Oregon (18)

  18. Michigan State (19)

  19. California (NR)

  20. Boise State (21)

  21. Central Florida (22)

  22. Maryland (NR)

  23. Washington State (23)

  24. Mississippi State (25)

  25. Virginia (24)

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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