My AP top-25 ballot: Alabama remains No. 1 while Notre Dame climbs, Arkansas soars

The Razorbacks are the unofficial champs of the Lone Star State and jumped into the top 10 after their victory over Texas A&M.

My AP top-25 ballot: Alabama remains No. 1 while Notre Dame climbs, Arkansas soars

Highlights from the ballot …

— No changes at the top with Alabama, followed by Georgia, Penn State, Iowa and Oregon.

— Notre Dame climbed seven spots after trouncing Wisconsin at Soldier Field to improve to 4-0.

(For loose context on an upcoming matchup, consider: The Irish beat Purdue soundly; Purdue beat Oregon State; and Oregon State just smashed USC. Could be a lopsided affair when the Trojans visit South Bend next month.)

— Arkansas was the big mover of the week, jumping to No. 9 (from No. 25) after beating Texas A&M and completing a sweep of the top Lone Star State programs. (Two weeks ago, the Razorbacks hammered Texas.)

Admittedly, we undervalued the Hogs until now but are endeavoring to rectify the situation with the 16-position jump.

The opening month is all about ridding AP ballots of inevitable preseason bias; major moves are the best way to create a ballot that accurately reflects the results.

— Fresno State entered the ballot following yet another win … but not entirely because of the victory over UNLV.

Rather, LSU was the key to configuring the bottom of the ballot.

We aren’t completely sold on the Tigers. But their win at Mississippi State added some credibility to UCLA’s head-to-head victory over LSU. And that, in turn, increased the legitimacy of Fresno State’s head-to-head win at the Rose Bowl.

As a result, all three teams are included on the ballot.

1. Alabama
2. Georgia
3. Penn State
4. Iowa
5. Oregon
6. Notre Dame
7. Florida
8. Ohio State
9. Arkansas
10. Oklahoma
11. Michigan State
12. Oklahoma State
13. Texas A&M
14. Cincinnati
15. Auburn
16. Brigham Young
17. Michigan
18. Mississippi
19. Coastal Carolina
20. Wisconsin
21. Baylor
22. Fresno State
23. UCLA
24. Kansas State
25. LSU


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