Duke

Goodbye, Appalachian State. Here’s Steve Wiseman’s AP Top 25 football ballot.

We almost witnessed another epic week of upsets in college football’s top 25.

While Baylor received a scare on Thursday night before subduing West Virginia 17-14 to stay unbeaten, Appalachian State didn’t survive on Thursday night. A 24-21 home loss to Georgia Southern means the Mountaineers (7-1) will be falling out of the national rankings.

But a bunch of other ranked teams survived upset bids and will stay among the nation’s top 25 teams.

Notre Dame edged Virginia Tech 21-20. Utah was pushed but posted a 33-28 road win over Washington. Cincinnati rallied from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to edge East Carolina 46-43 on a field goal on the game’s final play in Greenville.

Late Saturday night, Boise State fell behind San Jose State by two touchdowns before posting a 52-42 road win.

With Appalachian State losing, that means I needed to find another team to fill out by ballot. I turned to Central Florida, which at 7-2 has played its way back onto my ballot after earlier losses to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati dropped the Knights out.

I considered another American Athletic Conference team, Navy (7-1), for the poll. While the Midshipman have only lost to Memphis, none of their other wins move the needle. That could change when Navy plays Notre Dame on Nov. 16 and SMU the following week. But until then, Navy is close but not worthy of a ranking.

Georgia’s 24-17 win over Florida caused me to move the Bulldogs back up to No. 6 ahead, one spot ahead of another one-loss team, Oklahoma. While the Sooners’ lone loss is to a ranked Kansas State team, I put Georgia ahead of them since the Bulldogs have wins over Notre Dame and Florida.

Georgia’s lone loss, to South Carolina, is worse. But its wins are better.

Here is the ballot I submitted to the Associated Press on 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. LSU (3)

  4. Ohio State (4)

  5. Penn State (5)

  6. Georgia (8)

  7. Oklahoma (7)

  8. Utah (9)

  9. Oregon (10)

  10. Florida (6)

  11. Auburn (11)

  12. Baylor (12)

  13. Minnesota (13)

  14. Michigan (14)

  15. Notre Dame (15)

  16. Kansas State (23)

  17. Wake Forest (22)

  18. Cincinnati (18)

  19. Memphis (24)

  20. Wisconsin (19)

  21. Iowa (20)

  22. Boise State (21)

  23. SMU (16)

  24. San Diego State (25)

  25. Central Florida (NR)

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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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