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My AP ballot: Utah reaches the Top 25 after Shakeup Saturday

Marcus Sanders-Williams and "The U" are coming to Tucson this weekend. Photo by Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Marcus Sanders-Williams and “The U” are coming to Tucson this weekend. Photo by Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

The AP ballot turned difficult this week.

It was the first “Shakeup Saturday” of the season, which has reached the point where it’s impossible to keep teams ranked along the logical lines of Team A beat Team B.

It’s more about the full body of work, so South Carolina jumps ahead of Georgia (the Bulldogs won their head-to-head meeting), Oklahoma stays ahead of Texas (can’t yet forgive the Longhorns’ prior sins) and two-loss Wisconsin is back in over two-loss Arizona State, which kinda, mostly beat the Badgers in Tempe.

The poll starts to break down after No. 15. Every team I ranked No. 16 to No. 20, I would like to put from No. 21 to No. 25. There are at least a dozen teams I reasonably considered for the final five slots.

One of those I went with is Utah, which upset No. 5 Stanford 27-21 on Saturday night. The Utes stood toe-to-toe with now-Top 10 UCLA a week earlier (losing 34-27 and ultimately undone by six Travis Wilson interceptions) and has an overtime loss to 5-1 Oregon State.

No shame in either of those losses, and Utah pairs its Stanford moment with a good win at BYU, which beat Texas, which beat Oklahoma, which beat Notre Dame, etc…

I was one of 13 of the 60 AP voters to include Utah, which plays at Arizona on Saturday night.

There are eight SEC teams ranked in this week’s AP poll and only four Pac-12 teams. I have it as seven for the SEC and five for the Pac-12, with an eye on a few more. Arizona State and Oregon State are knocking on the door, and a possibly rejuvenated USC can re-make its case in the next few weeks with games at Notre Dame, vs. Utah and at Oregon State.

Here is my ballot, compared to the AP poll…

Gimino Team AP
1 Alabama 1
2 Oregon 2
3 Clemson 3
4 Ohio State 4
5 LSU 6
6 Texas A&M 7
7 Miami 10
8 Florida State 5
9 UCLA 9
10 Louisville 8
11 Stanford 13
12 South Carolina 11
13 Baylor 12
14 Missouri 14
15 Georgia 15
16 Texas Tech 16
17 Oklahoma 18
18 Washington 20
19 Fresno State 17
20 Florida 22
21 Virginia Tech 19
22 Notre Dame NR
23 Wisconsin 25
24 Utah NR
25 Northern Illinois 23

I don’t rank Oklahoma State (No. 21 in AP) or Auburn (No. 24 in AP).

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