May 30, 2024

What impact did the Buckeyes’ and Seminoles’ slow starts have on our weekly rankings?

While Washington, Oklahoma State, and Louisville made significant gains following outstanding victories, Ohio State and Florida State’s shaky starts did not affect their ranking in my Associated Press Top 25.

Following a 35-16 victory over Rutgers and former Bucs coach Greg Schiano, the Buckeyes are still ranked #1. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Ohio State has defeated four teams ranked in the top 40 and has yet to allow a team to score more than 17 points. Compared to Georgia, which impressed me with its victory over Missouri, that resume is superior.

Despite the lacklustre 24-7 victory over Pitt, I don’t think it’s fair to penalise teams for winning conference games away from home. I also have to take into account the fact that FSU won by three scores even without their two best receivers, Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman. Not too bad.

Washington’s 52-42 victory at USC helped them pass Michigan and place fourth on my ballot. As of right now, the Huskies have defeated at least three teams that are noticeably superior to the Wolverines’ most formidable opponent—Rutgers—including Oregon, Arizona, and the Trojans. At last, Michigan will face Penn State in a test. Up until that point, I’ll take a strong schedule over the dominance of weak teams.

• I’m still not sure how to feel about Louisville, FSU’s likely opponent in the ACC title game. In the past two weeks, the Cardinals have defeated Duke and Virginia Tech by a combined score of 57-3. They had close games early on against Indiana and Georgia Tech, defeated Notre Dame by two scores, and lost to Pitt by 17. They were the lowest one-loss team and ahead of all two-loss clubs when I moved them up seven spots to No. 11.

• Texas and Alabama’s victories over Kansas State and LSU give me more confidence that they can sneak into the playoffs. However, I didn’t have space for the Longhorns or Crimson Tide to win; I still believe that Oregon is the best one-loss team, and the Ducks’ crushing of Cal 63-19 confirmed my opinion.

• I’ve written extensively about how disorganised the Pac-12 is. Even the Big 12 is beginning to catch up. After defeating Bedlam rival Oklahoma by a margin of three points, Oklahoma State surged six spots to No. 14. The Cowboys are on a five-game winning streak after suffering losses to South Alabama and Iowa State. They have also defeated three of the teams I have ranked: Kansas State, Kansas, and the Sooners. They have obviously figured out how to use Ollie Gordon, the star running back. Kansas moved up from 17th to unranked. In addition to the fact that the 7-2 Jayhawks must be ahead of the 7-2 Sooners they defeated a week ago, this is also partly due to a victory at the challenging Iowa State.

• Following a 14-point defeat to Alabama, LSU only dropped two spots to rank fifteenth. That’s a result of its strong schedule, which included a victory over the Tigers (who also dropped two spots), and losses to teams that are similar to them (Notre Dame, Missouri). LSU was competitive prior to Jayden Daniels’ departure, so his injury also played a role.

• After losing to Clemson for the third time, Notre Dame dropped nine spots to rank twenty-first. The Tigers still qualify as solid competition despite their three defeats; their victories include lopsided victories over Pitt and North Carolina State as well as victories over Duke and USC.

• Following their losses this week, USC, UCLA, and Air Force all disappeared from my ballot. They cleared space for 9-0 Liberty, North Carolina, and Kansas. I also gave Duke, Toledo, Fresno State, Arizona, and SMU some thought.

Ohio State on Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot

2. A Georgian

3. Embry American

4. The Washington

Michigan, 5.

6. The Oregon

Texas, 7.

8. The state of Alabama

9. The state of Mississippi

Penn State, ten

11. The city of Louisville

12. State of Oregon

Utah, 13.

Oklahoma State 14.

15. ASU

Missouri (16)

Kansas, 17.

Oklahoma (18)

Kansas State (19)

Tennessee (20)

Dame (number 21)

Tulane 22

James Madison, age 23

North Carolina (24)

25. Equality

1. Georgia (9-0) in the AP Top 25

Second, Michigan (9-0)

3. (9-0) Ohio State

4. The 9-0 Florida State

5. Washington won 9 to 0.

Sixth, Oregon (8-1)

7. Longhorns (8-1)

8. The Hawks (8-1)

9. The 8-0 Penn State

10. Louisiana (8-1)

Louisville (8-1) in 11.

12. State of Oregon (7-2)

Utah (7-2) in 13.

Tennessee (7-2) in 14.

15. The 7-2 Oklahoma State

16. Kansas (7-2)

Oklahoma (7-2) 17.

18. 6-3 LSU

Kansas (7-2) 19.

20. 8-1) Tulane

James Madison, rank 21 (9-0)

22. The Irish (7-3)

23. Arizona, 6-3

24. Carolina (6-2)

25. The Liberty (9-0).

Other teams that received votes were: UCLA 11, Iowa 6, SMU 5, Duke 4, West Virginia 3, Texas A&M 1, NC State 1, Clemson 1, Fresno St. 73, Kansas St. 73, Southern Cal 46, Air Force 26, Toledo 25, and UCLA 11.


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