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My AP ballot: Oklahoma State is No. 2

Mike Gundy

Mike Gundy gets a Gatorade shower at the end of Oklahoma State's win over Oklahoma. Photo by Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Oklahoma State or Alabama?

I’m glad the AP vote doesn’t count in the BCS rankings, so I don’t have to worry about my decision being even a small factor in determining who gets to play LSU in the national title game.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t agonize over which team should be No. 2.

Oklahoma State, with its rousing victory over Oklahoma on Saturday, tipped the scales to having the “better victories.” Alabama, with an overtime home loss to LSU, has the “better loss.” The Cowboys lost on the road in double overtime at Iowa State.

OSU’s body of work includes wins at Texas A&M, Texas and Missouri. Not a great team in a bunch, but three teams with “fringe-y” Top 25 talent. Oklahoma State routed ranked Baylor and Oklahoma at home, and came away with a seven-point home win over Kansas State.

Alabama has road victories over Penn State, Florida, Mississippi State and Auburn. Not a great team in that bunch, either, but four more teams considered Top 25 worthy at some point in the season. Alabama handled Top 10 Arkansas with ease at home.

The Tide leads the nation in scoring defense. Oklahoma State is second nationally in scoring.

Who’s better?

If the teams played, I’d probably favor Alabama slightly, but I don’t know what would happen, and neither does anyone else. The AP instructs voters to cast ballots based on performance.

It would probably take just a slight breeze to change my mind, but I went with Oklahoma State as having the better strength of schedule and overall better resume.

Here is my final regular-season ballot:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma State
3. Alabama
4. Stanford
5. USC
6. Arkansas
7. Oregon
8. Wisconsin
9. South Carolina
10. Boise State
11. Michigan State
12. Baylor
13. Kansas State
14. Michigan
15. TCU
16. Georgia
17. Clemson
18. Nebraska
19. Oklahoma
20. Virginia Tech
21. West Virginia
22. Penn State
23. Southern Miss
24. Notre Dame
25. Houston

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