Last night I sent another Top 25 ballot to The Associated Press.
I kicked out New Mexico after its home loss to South Dakota State. But if New Mexico beats Cincinnati this week, they will be back on the ballot.
I also evicted Miami after its lopsided loss to Arizona in Hawaii. I still think Miami is one of the better teams in the ACC, so I think they will also be back on my ballot later this season.
Here is my ballot:
1. Duke stays here after beating Cornell and Elon. Next: home game with Santa Clara on Saturday.
2. Michigan moves up a spot after beating Eastern Michigan. Next: Central Michigan on Sat.
3. Arizona moves up a spot after beating Oral Roberts and then beating ETSU and Miami in Hawaii. Next: big game Tuesday with San Diego State in Hawaii.
4. Louisville moves up two spots after beating Florida International and Western Kentucky. Next: big game Sat. at home against Kentucky.
5. Indiana moves up two spots after beating Mount St. Mary’s and Florida Atlantic. Next: Friday vs. Jacksonville.
6. Missouri moves up five spots after beating South Carolina State and Illinois. That Illinois win is a really good victory, and the Tigers’ only loss was to Lousivlle, so I think Missouri deserves to be this high. Next: decent game Friday at UCLA.
7. Cincinnati, still unbeaten, moves up three spots after beating Xavier and Wright State. Next: big game Thursday against New Mexico.
8. Illinois falls 3 spots after losing to Missouri. That’s not a bad loss, and the Illini still own good wins over Gonzaga and Butler, so I think they still deserve to be in top eight. Next: Sat. against lowly Auburn.
9. Kansas moves up three spots after beating Richmond and winning at Ohio State. Next: Saturday vs. American.
10. Syracuse falls 8 spots after beating Detroit and losing to Temple. Next: Sat. vs. Alcorn State.
11. Gonzaga moves up 2 spots after beating Campbell. Next: decent game Friday vs. Baylor.
12. Butler moves up 3 spots after beating Evansville. Next: Sat. at Vanderbilt, featuring Cave Spring grad Josh Henderson.
13. San Digo State moves up 3 spots after beating Point Loma, San Franciso and Indiana State. Next: big game Tuesday vs. Arizona in Hawaii.
14. Creighton moves up 4 spots after beating Tulsa. Next: Sat. vs. Evansville.
15. Minnesota moves up 4 spots after beating Lafayette. Next: big game New Year’s Eve day versus Michigan State.
16. Oklahoma State moves up 4 spots after beating Texas-Arlington and Tenn. Tech. Next: big game New Year’s Eve vs. Gonzaga.
17. Georgetown moves up 4 spots after beating American. Next: Jan. 5 at Marquette.
18. N.C. State moves up 4 spots after beating Stanford and St. Bonaventure. Next: Sat. vs. W. Michigan.
19. Florida falls 11 spots after beating Southeastern La. and losing to Kansas State. Why the big drop? I just don’t think Florida’s resume quite measures up to the teams ranked ahead of it. Next: Sat. vs. Air Force.
20. Mich. State moves up 5 spots after beating Bowling Green and Texas. Next: the big Dec. 31 game at Minnesota.
21. Ohio State falls 12 spots after beating Winthrop and losing at home to Kansas. Why the big drop? The Buckeyes don’t have any bad losses, but they really don’t have an eye-catching win. Next: Sat. vs. Chicago St.
22. Wyoming moves up one spot after beating Denver and UC Santa Barbara. Next: Jan. 2 at SMU.
23. Oregon falls 6 spots after losing in triple OT at UTEP and beating Houston Baptist. Why is Oregon still on my ballot? It’s had to boot a team after it loses in triple overtime, and it still owns that quality win over UNLK. And its only other loss was to Cincinnati. Next: Dec. 31 vs. Nevada.
24. UNLV returns to my ballot after beating Northern Iowa and Canisius. UNLV’s only loss was to Oregon in the third game of the season, and it hasn’t lost since. Time to put them back on the ballot. Next: big game Saturday at UNC.
25. For this last spot, I looked hard at VCU, Pitt, New Mexico and Wichita State. But I want to see one more quality win out of these teams. I want to see how Pitt does against Cincinnati, for example, because there’s just not a real impressive win on its schedule yet.
I also looked very hard at Kansas State after its win over Florida, but in the end I decided to give this spot to Notre Dame after it beat IPFW, Kennesaw St. and Niagara to improve to 12-1. It was a close call, but the Irish’s only loss was in OT to St. Joe’s and it hasn’t lost since. It has a nice win over Kentucky and it has been playing very good ball. Next: Jan. 5 vs. Seton Hall.