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My AP ballot: Look for shake-up next weekend

Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks left ASU in the dust. Photo by Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

No upsets near the top this week, but plenty of very impressive victories.

We can (pretty much) all agree, using our common sense, that Alabama is still the team to beat. Oregon might not have the next-best resume, based on strength of schedule, but the Ducks could have splattered “A” Mountain in Tempe with more than green paint Thursday night if they had truly wanted to drive a stake through ASU’s heart.

Instead of going for 80-plus points, coach Chip Kelly reined in his attack dogs, didn’t score in the second half, and happily walked away with a 43-21 win over the Sun Devils. No need to punish Oregon on my ballot for that (although look for the Ducks to slip in the BCS standings later Sunday).

On Saturday, Florida smacked visiting South Carolina, and Kansas State showed West Virginia what a balanced team looks like. Notre Dame survived its “trap” game against BYU, and LSU rallied to win at Texas A&M.

I spent more time with the bottom of my ballot, with several teams vying for the last spot or two. I went with 6-2 Wisconsin, whose loss to Oregon State looks perfectly understandable now.

You could play the “Team A beat Team B, which beat Team C” game for quite a while (for example, UCLA beat Nebraska, which beat Wisconsin), so there’s no perfect choice for No. 25. To me, the Badgers seem to be back to playing to their potential as a top 15 team.

There will be plenty of shakeup next week.

Mississippi State plays at Alabama in a battle of unbeatens. Florida plays Georgia. Texas Tech is at Kansas State in a huge Big 12 game. Notre Dame tries to further its case for the national title game at Oklahoma, one of the nation’s top one-loss teams.

Oh, and USC is at Arizona.

Here is my AP ballot for the week:

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida
4. Kansas State
5. Notre Dame
6. LSU
7. Oregon State
8. Oklahoma
9. Ohio State
10. USC
11. Texas Tech
12. Florida State
13. South Carolina
14. Louisville
15. Georgia
16. Clemson
17. Rutgers
18. Mississippi State
19. Stanford
20. Texas A&M
21. Michigan
22. Boise State
23. Louisiana Tech
24. Ohio
25. Wisconsin

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