My AP top 25 ballot: Alabama reclaims top spot

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

After Week 11
1 Alabama
2 Florida State
3 Stanford
4 Baylor
5 Ohio State
6 Oregon
7 Auburn
8 Clemson
9 UCLA
10 Texas A&M
11 South Carolina
12 Missouri
13 Arizona State
14 Wisconsin
15 LSU
16 Central Florida
17 Oklahoma
18 Oklahoma State
19 Georgia
20 Fresno State
21 Michigan State
22 Louisville
23 Northern Illinois
24 Ole Miss
25 Minnesota

Out: Miami (17), Notre Dame (21), BYU (25)
In: Northern Illinois (23), Ole Miss (24), Minnesota (25)
Next up: Duke, Texas, Ball State, Michigan

Alabama reclaims the top spot on my poll after a dominant win over LSU. FSU drops to 2, and without a dominant team in the Coastal Division to go against in the ACC championship game, plus the rapid decline of Florida, it will be hard for the Seminoles to get back to No. 1 without an Alabama loss.
The toughest decision for me was at No. 3 – basically it comes down to how important is an undefeated record? It can’t be everything, because then your top 5 should includes Northern Illinois and Fresno State.
Yes, Stanford lost at Utah. But it also has five wins against ranked teams, including Oregon and Arizona State.  Baylor has beaten one team that’s still ranked in my poll (Oklahoma), and so has Ohio State (Wisconsin).
If these teams all met on a neutral field, I’d take Stanford, then Baylor, then Ohio State. So the Cardinal are my No. 3 team, despite the one loss. 
Undefeated Northern Illinois makes its first appearance in my poll. I also added Ole Miss, whose three losses are all to top 10 teams and whose wins include LSU, Texas and BYU. And I picked 8-2 Minnesota over a group that included Duke, Texas, Ball State and Michigan. With Wisconsin and Michigan State on deck for the Golden Gophers, their stay could be short-lived.