Note: J.P. Giglio is one of 65 voters in the AP Top 25. This is his ballot.
I’ve long advocated maintaining the integrity of the regular season, but college football needs an eight-team playoff.
Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech are each 6-1 in the Big 12 with a win over each other. I went with Texas at No. 2 because the Longhorns’ win in the group was at a neutral site, and Oklahoma (3) and Texas Tech (5) each won at home.
The Sooners get the nod over Florida (4) for their wins over TCU (12) and Cincinnati (17). Then there are strong one-loss teams — Penn State (7) and Southern California (8). It’s time to let the teams decide it on the field.
1. Alabama (11-0)
Good wins: @ Georgia, Ole Miss, @ LSU
Last week: 1 (bye)
Tough final kick — their rival, Florida and then a BCS bowl.
2. Texas (10-1)
Good wins: Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State
Loss: @ Texas Tech
Last week: 3
Next: Texas A&M (Thursday)
I've been voting since 2005 and I just don't like this scenario in the Big 12. The neutral site win and the close loss to TT works in Texas' favor though.
3. Oklahoma (10-1)
Good wins: Texas Tech, TCU, Cincinnati
Last week: 5 (beat Texas Tech, 65-21)
Next: @ No. 10 Oklahoma State
Drilled TT and I like the nonconference wins, which neither Texas nor TT has, but it's hard to get around losing to a team on a neutral site.
4. Florida (10-1)
Good wins: Georgia, LSU, Miami
Loss: Ole Miss
Last week: 4 (beat The Citadel, 70-19)
Next: @ No. 20 Florida State
Honestly, The Citadel? Maybe FSU will provide a better challenge.
5. Texas Tech (10-1)
Good wins: Texas, Oklahoma State
Loss: @ Oklahoma
Last week: 2 (lost at Oklahoma, 65-21)
Ugly loss but the final score shouldn't count against the Red Raiders. The awful nonconference schedule should, though.
6. Utah (12-0)
Good wins: Oregon State, TCU, BYU
Last week: 6 (beat BYU, 48-24)
Three good wins for the Utes, not pretty, but good. Funny, I haven't heard from the BYU fans since September. Called that 48-24 shot in August, by the way.
7. Penn State (11-1)
Good wins: @ Ohio State, Oregon State, Michigan State
Loss: @ Iowa
Last week: 7 (beat Michigan State, 49-18)
The Nits deserve a shot at USC but they're going to need help from Oregon to get it. Depending on the dominoes, I'd vote the USC-PSU winner No. 1.
8. USC (9-1)
Good wins: Oregon, Ohio State
Loss: @ Oregon State
Last week: 8 (bye)
Next: Notre Dame
The Trojans really need Notre Dame to improve because it works against them when one of their three nonconference wins is an easy mark.
9. Boise State (11-0)
Good win: @ Oregon
Last week: 9 (beat Nevada, 41-34)
Next: Fresno State
Stumble, perhaps, for the Broncos but they rarely lose at home. Wouldn't mind a Oklahoma-Boise rematch if the Sooners don't make the BCS title game.
10. Oklahoma State (9-2)
Good win: @ Missouri
Losses: @ Texas, @ Texas Tech
Last week: 10 (bye)
Next: No. 3 Oklahoma
Don't sleep on the Pokes. The BCS November pattern is chaos, especially in rivalry games.
11. Ohio State (10-2)
Good wins: Northwestern, Michigan State
Losses: @ USC, Penn State
Last week: 11 (beat Michigan, 42-7)
Get to face Georgia in the All-Disappointment Bowl in Orlando.
12. TCU (10-2)
Good win: BYU
Losses: @ Oklahoma, @ Utah
Last week: 12 (beat Air Force, 44-10)
Nice season, now will the Frogs keep coach Gary Patterson? After eight years, it's probably time for Patterson to leave Fort Worth.
13. Georgia (9-2)
Good win: @ LSU
Losses: Alabama, Florida
Last week: 13 (bye)
Next: No. 22 Georgia Tech
Something tells me GT played its Super Bowl against Miami. That's what UGa should be hoping for because Chan the Man's nowhere to be found.
14. Ball State (11-0)
Good wins: none
Last week: 14 (beat Central Michigan, 31-24)
Next: Western Michigan (Tuesday)
Need to beat the Broncos to win the MAC West. Wouldn't want to come this far to stumble.
15. Oregon State (8-3)
Good win: USC
Losses: @ Penn State, @ Utah, @ Stanford
Last week: 17
Backup QB beats Arizona. Can backup RB beat Oregon? The Pac-10 will be rooting for the Beavers but the Rose Bowl will be rooting for the Ducks.
16. Missouri (9-2)
Good wins: none
Losses: Oklahoma State, @ Texas
Last week: 16 (bye)
Actually got an e-mail about Mizzou's ranking last week wanting the Tigers higher. When they beat somebody, let me know.
17. Cincinnati (9-2)
Good wins: @ West Virginia, Pitt
Losses: @ Oklahoma, @ UConn
Last week: 21 (beat Pitt, 28-21)
Brian Kelly's quickly moving up the Tennessee radar, which may be good for Clemson's chances at Mike Leach.
18. Georgia Tech (8-3)
Good wins: @ Boston College, Florida State, Miami
Losses: @ Virginia Tech, Virginia, @ UNC
Last week: Not ranked (beat Miami 41-23)
Next: @ No. 13 Georgia
It all came together for the Jackets against Miami, the definition of a Super Bowl. But can they bring the juice back for the Dawgs?
19. Boston College (8-3)
Good wins: @ Florida State, Virginia Tech
Losses: Georgia Tech, @ UNC, Clemson
Last week: 23 (beat Wake Forest, 24-21)
Defy logic by continuing to win. Great defense goes a long way.
20. Florida State (8-3)
Good wins: @ Miami, Virginia Tech, @ Maryland
Losses: Wake Forest, @ Georgia Tech, Boston College
Last week: Not ranked (beat Maryland, 37-3)
Next: No. 4 Florida
All the Noles needed was a little bad-mouthing. Did they peak one week too soon to fulfill my August prediction?
21. Ole Miss (7-4)
Good wins: @ Florida, @ LSU
Losses: @ Wake, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, @ Alabama
Last week: Not ranked (beat LSU, 31-13)
Next: Mississippi State (Friday)
Two home losses they'd like to have back are keeping the Rebels from a truly great season.
22. BYU (10-2)
Good wins: none
Losses: @ TCU, @ Utah
Last week: 15 (lost at Utah )
Considered not ranking the Cougs but really they're the best of the alternatives. Just in case you missed it, I was right, BYU fans.
23. Michigan State (9-3)
Good wins: Iowa, Northwestern
Losses: @ Cal, Ohio State, @ Penn State
Last week: 19 (lost at Penn State)
Beat the teams they were supposed to and lost to the ones they were supposed to. Should be pumped for the midlevel SEC foe in the Outback Bowl.
24. Northwestern (9-3)
Good wins: Iowa
Losses: Michigan State, Ohio State
Last week: Not ranked (beat Illinois)
Probably looking at 8-4 if they had played Penn State but still, after a 4-8 start in 2006 — in incredibly difficult circumstances — Pat Fitzgerald is 15-9 in the past two seasons.
25. Iowa (8-4)
Good wins: Penn State
Losses: @ Pitt, Northwestern, @ Michigan State, @ Illinois
Last week: Not ranked (beat Minnesota, 55-0)
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 after a 3-3 start with the big win over PSU.
Out: LSU (20), UNC (22), Miami (24), Pitt (25)