UPDATE, 4 p.m.: ESPN’s Chris Fowler, alerted via this story that he ranked Arizona No. 24 and Arizona State not at all, has explained the error. He says that when he called in his ballot to the AP during the BCS title game aftermath, the person on the other end thought he said “Fresno State” rather than “Arizona State” at No. 23. AP has fixed the error; the extra three points for being No. 23 on Fowler’s ballot pushes Arizona State past Notre Dame into 20th in the final poll. Here is my original story, with his tweet at bottom:
Half of the Pac-12 ended up in the final AP Top 25 — and on my ballot, too.
Oregon, at No. 9, is the highest-ranked team from the conference. Stanford, after a Rose Bowl loss, fell to 11th.
The order of those teams in the AP poll doesn’t make much sense. That’s why I had Stanford ninth, one spot ahead of Oregon. The Cardinal won the head-to-head matchup, won the conference and shouldn’t be punished for playing a superior postseason opponent (Michigan State) than Oregon did (Texas).
USC and Washington, each with bowl victories, slipped into the rankings.
Arizona earned five points in the AP poll, drawing mention on two of the 60 media ballots. Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman put the Cats at No. 23, and ESPN’s Chris Fowler ranked UA at No. 24. Oddly — very oddly — Fowler did not rank Arizona State, which won the Pac-12 South and soundly defeated Arizona head-to-head.
I had only one internal debate for the final spot, finally opting to leave out Nebraska (the poll agreed, as the Huskers finished 26th in the voting).
Here is my final AP ballot:
1. Florida State
3. Michigan State
4. South Carolina
13. Ohio State
15. Oklahoma State
18. Texas A&M
19. Notre Dame
20. Arizona State
AP ballot mixup: my #23 is #ASU. Apparently misunderstood on deadline over the phone from post-BCS bedlam. No impact on rankings. Sorry.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) January 7, 2014