The top 10 teams in the AP poll are unchanged from last week, and I didn’t make any moves in my top 10 either.
For the second consecutive week, I had Houston on my working Top 25 ballot before making another choice. The strength of schedule for the 6-0 Cougars is still too weak. In fact, if I was going to put a team from Conference USA on my ballot, it would probably be 5-1 SMU, which was a win at TCU after opening the season with a loss at Texas A&M.
Those were two of the close calls on my ballot this week. Other near misses were USC and Georgia Tech, which dropped from the unbeaten ranks with a loss to Virginia.
Unbeaten Kansas State is 12th in the AP poll and on my ballot. The Wildcats have won four in a row against solid competition — at Miami, Baylor, Missouri, at Texas Tech. The next three weeks, however, will tell the tale — Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, Texas A&M.
The issue moving forward for South Carolina is the loss of sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a torn ACL on Saturday. The Gamecocks and Georgia are each 4-1 in the SEC East, and the Bulldogs have only home games remaining in the SEC — Florida, Auburn and Kentucky.
South Carolina has to play at Tennessee, at Arkansas and is home for Florida. Edge: Georgia, which would get the honor of being smacked down in the SEC title game.
Here’s my ballot:
5. Oklahoma State
7. Boise State
12. Kansas State
13. South Carolina
14. West Virginia
15. Texas A&M
18. Notre Dame
19. Michigan State
22. Arizona State
24. Virginia Tech
25. Penn State