My AP Top 25 ballot: Duke makes its first appearance

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 10:44 AM

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

In: Duke (25). Out: Minnesota
Next up: Southern Cal, Minnesota

Not much movement this week – Stanford and Georgia were the only ranked teams that lost, both on last-minute plays on the road.
I kept the BCS undefeateds in the same order – Alabama, FSU, Baylor, Ohio State – with one-loss teams Oregon, Auburn and Clemson next in line. I don’t have Missouri in that group yet because, while the Tigers have a great record and play in the SEC, they haven’t beaten any of the best teams in the conference (Alabama, Texas A&M, South Carolina, LSU).
The biggest change at the bottom was Duke, who beat a second ranked team for the first time since 1971 and are alone atop the ACC Coastal Division. Full disclosure: I covered the team my junior and senior years in college when they went a combined 0-22. But this was no sympathy vote. Duke ran for 358 yards against Miami, finished the game on a 41-13 run and is undefeated (8-0) with QB Anthony Boone.
I couldn’t knock Georgia out of the rankings for losing on such a fluky play at Auburn – plus I can’t ignore the wins over LSU and South Carolina. So Southern Cal and Minnesota, who have both won four in a row, are the odd teams out this week. They would be No. 26 and No. 27, respectively.