This week sees some shuffling in my top 25. Two teams in my top 25 last week took a hit on the road this weekend, with LSU losing to Georgia and Oklahoma State getting stung by West Virginia. As a result, there was plenty of movement in my poll this week with teams moving up. I also had some teams drop out after a loss this weekend, which leaves some room for some new teams to pop up in to the bottom of my top 25 this week.
My top three remain unchanged. Alabama is still my team to beat after pitching a shutout against Ole Miss, and Ohio State remains second on my list after their victory against Wisconsin. Oregon remains third in my poll but I will say I am close to flipping the Ducks and Buckeyes. With LSU taking a loss this weekend, Stanford, Clemson, Louisville, Texas A&M and Georgia all move up within my top ten. I dropped LSU from fourth to ninth. LSU is clearly a top ten team but I could not justify ranking them above Georgia of course, thus the Tigers come in just after Georgia. Florida State moves up to round out my top ten, although their defense gave up more than I expected at Boston College. Did you see that Jameis Winston Hail Mary?
Arizona State returns to my top 25 after blowing away USC and getting Lane Kiffin fired in the aftermath. Their lone loss came at Stanford, so they remained on the radar even after their loss last week. The Sun Devils have some offense and should give UCLA a run for the Pac 12 South. Fresno State moved up a couple spots after winning at Hawaii, but the Bulldogs were taking advantage of other teams dropping out rather than on merit from their performance on the island. Northern Illinois had been on the radar for me and now creeps in after becoming the first MAC team to win two games against a Big Ten program in the same season. Fresno State is still my BCS Buster to beat between the two. I’m still trying to figure out whether Northern Illinois is as good as they were last year, but they have a win against an Iowa team that looks improved from last year.
And hello to Maryland, who debuts in my top 25 with a 4-0 record. The Terps were off this past weekend but with other teams falling out of my poll and others leaving me wondering
if they truly belong yet, I felt it was appropriate to have Maryland jump right in to my ranking. It could be a short0lived stay though as Maryland travels to Florida State this weekend. Still, I felt recognizing the work done by Randy Edsall was warranted.
Each week I will cast my updated top 25 ballot to the #SMCTop25 and share it here with you. For your reference, teams colored green are moving up in my poll and teams in red are moving down. Teams with neither color are staying firm from my previous poll. Here is my ballot heading in to week six.
2. Ohio State
7. Texas A&M
10. Florida State
11. South Carolina
18. Oklahoma State
21. Ole Miss
22. Arizona State
23. Fresno State
25. Northern Illinois
Dropped Out: Notre Dame, Central Florida, Wisconsin
On the Radar: Missouri, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, Nebraska, Penn State, Houston, East Carolina