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Our-Gardian-Angel Ballot for 2022 Week 4

Ballot Type: Human

Submitted: Sept. 19, 2022, 10:46 a.m.

Overall Rationale: My ballot uses metrics like SP+ and FPI as a reference point and places an emphasis on factors such as strength of victory, margin of victory and vibes. All wins aren't created equal and head-to-head isn't the be-all, end-all when filling out a ballot.

Rank Team Reason
1 Georgia Bulldogs The fully operational Georgia Death Machine disemboweled South Carolina. If they had respected the will of the people and named their mascot Cock Commander, perhaps Georgia would've gone easier on them. (Week 3: Georgia 48, South Carolina 7; Record: 3-0)
2 Ohio State Buckeyes Toledo is expected to be in the mix for a MAC West title this year. That's still a team Ohio State should handily beat, but they took it a step further. A win over Wisconsin at home next week would continue to solidify the Buckeyes as one of the nation's best teams (again). (Week 3: Ohio State 77, Toledo 21; Record: 3-0)
3 Alabama Crimson Tide Bama took out some Texas-related frustrations out on Terry Bowden and should have little trouble against Vandy next weekend. Things start to get much more interesting for the Tide once October hits. (Week 3: Alabama 63, Louisiana-Monroe 7; Record: 3-0)
4 Michigan Wolverines Another week where Michigan unloaded on a cupcake. The Wolverines have done what they should against a lackluster non-conference slate, but now comes Big Ten play and their chance to further prove their elite level against tougher competition. (Week 3: Michigan 59, UConn 0; Record: 3-0)
5 Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma fans have been saying this is their most complete team in years, and the Sooners are backing up that claim with each passing week. The latest chapter: kicking post-Scott Frost Nebraska's dicks in. Big 12 play has arrived to give Brent Venables another testing ground to prove his mettle. (Week 3: Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14; Record: 3-0)
6 Clemson Tigers As of now, Clemson is looking like a team that can certainly win the ACC and make the College Football Playoff, but is outside that upper crust of national title contenders. Still, DJ Uiagalelei looks improved and we've seen so-so starts by Clemson before, so I'm not writing them off entirely as a potential national champion just yet. (Week 3: Clemson 48, Louisiana Tech 20; Record: 3-0)
7 USC Trojans A couple injuries to QB Jake Haener and safety Evan Williams for Fresno State put a bit of a damper on the game, but USC looked the part in a comfortable win against a tough G5 opponent. Their defense is likely still a long-term fix, but they're right there with Utah among the Pac-12 favorites. (Week 3: USC 45, Fresno State 17; Record: 3-0)
8 Tennessee Volunteers Tennessee did what should've been done against a lower MAC team, so there is not much to take from that type of game. Next week's ranked matchup against Florida? We'll have plenty to take away from that. (Week 3: Tennessee 63, Akron 6; Record: 3-0)
9 Kentucky Wildcats Top-10 Kentucky blanked FCS Youngstown State and shouldn't have much trouble against Northern Illinois at home next weekend. Get through that, and we have a very tantalizing matchup between UK and Ole Miss to kick off October. (Week 3: Kentucky 31, Youngstown State 0; Record: 3-0)
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys The Cowboys rocketed up my ballot from No. 18 last week mostly due to the carnage in front of them, but it was probably overdue anyway. They're plenty legit and a Big 12 contender again. Facing Baylor in Waco this coming weekend in a Big 12 championship game rematch should be a lot of fun. (Week 3: Oklahoma State 63, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7; Record: 3-0)
11 Arkansas Razorbacks Well the Razorbacks avoided a humiliating loss to Bobby Petrino-led Missouri State. That kind of defeat could've been a back breaker ahead of a challenging upcoming four-game stretch: at Texas A&M, vs. Alabama, at Mississippi State, at BYU. (Week 3: Arkansas 38, Missouri State 27; Record: 3-0)
12 Penn State Nittany Lions Listen, Auburn under Bryan Harsin looks like it's in a death spiral. But a 41-12 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium is always going to be something to celebrate. As of this moment, the Nittany Lions clearly look like they're the third-best team in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and Michigan. (Week 3: Penn State 41, Auburn 12; Record: 3-0)
13 Ole Miss Rebels Much like above, Georgia Tech under Geoff Collins is a step below rudderless. But a 42-0 shutout win on the road against a P5 opponent is always going to be impressive on some level. The early portion of the Ole Miss schedule is forgiving, and the Rebels have taken full advantage thus far before getting into the grind of SEC play later on. (Week 3: Ole Miss 42, Georgia Tech 0; Record: 3-0)
14 Utah Utes A slow start, but Utah had little trouble against San Diego State. Honestly, it's a shame they couldn't finish the deal against Florida. This is an excellent team that now has zero margin for error in the naturally cannibalistic Pac-12 if they are to make the College Football Playoff. (Week 3: Utah 35, San Diego State 7; Record: 2-1)
15 Baylor Bears After a heartbreaking loss to BYU, Baylor bounced back well against Texas State to finish off non-conference play. There will be no easing into their Big 12 schedule, however, as the Bears welcome in Oklahoma State. (Week 3: Baylor 42, Texas State 7; Record: 2-1)
16 NC State Wolfpack The NC State defense is exactly as advertised in the early stages of the season, but QB Devin Leary really needs to step up his game if the Wolfpack are to meet the lofty expectations set before them this year. (Week 3: NC State 27, Texas Tech 14; Record: 3-0)
17 Oregon Ducks A comprehensive victory over BYU is a great win early in the tenure of first-year head coach Dan Lanning. Also, that Week 1 ass blasting at the hands of Georgia looks much less egregious considering that the Bulldogs are clearly the No. 1 team in the country thus far. (Week 3: Oregon 41, BYU 20; Record: 2-1)
18 Washington Huskies Michigan State is looking damn shaky, but Washington has clearly already come along way under new head coach Kalen DeBoer given what he inherited in the aftermath of Jimmy Lake's botched tenure. (Week 3: Washington 39, Michigan State 28; Record: 3-0)
19 Texas Longhorns The Longhorns had some sketchy moments against a very solid UTSA team, but managed to regroup and pull away despite the absence of Quinn Ewers. There are a number of Texas teams in recent memory that probably wouldn't have been able to do the same. (Week 3: Texas 41, UTSA 20; Record: 2-1)
20 Minnesota Golden Gophers Similar to the Penn State and Ole Miss wins, Minnesota's blowout victory over Colorado came against a P5 opponent whose coach is cratering the program. But despite the weak non-conference schedule, the Gophers are absolutely obliterating inferior competition to an impressive degree. Their next two games (at Michigan State, vs. Purdue) give them the chance to solidify their status as Big Ten West frontrunners. (Week 3: Minnesota 49, Colorado 7; Record: 3-0)
21 Cincinnati Bearcats Cincinnati only led rival Miami (OH) 24-17 at halftime, but outscored them 14-0 in the second half to pull away. Cincy is young and experiencing some growing pains, but they should continue to improve as the season goes along. (Week 3: Cincinnati 38, Miami (OH) 17; Record: 2-1)
22 BYU Cougars The Cougars were unable to follow a marquee win over Baylor with another against Oregon. It's not a death blow or anything to BYU, but it's certainly a missed opportunity to solidify their status as clear frontrunners for the G5's NY6 spot. (Week 3: Oregon 41, BYU 20; Record: 2-1)
23 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Liberty was a two-point conversion away from pulling off the upset over Wake Forest. Since the Flames fell short, the Demon Deacons' unbeaten record lives to fight another day. Wake Forest welcomes in Clemson next Saturday in a game with colossal ACC Atlantic implications. (Week 3: Wake Forest 37, Liberty 36; Record: 3-0)
24 Florida Gators I was very tempted to drop Florida off the ballot after that ugly win over South Florida, but their narrow victory over Utah is keeping that early resume afloat. A trip to Knoxville against rival Tennessee will either solidify their top-25 status or knock them out entirely. (Week 3: Florida 31, South Florida 28; Record: 2-1)
25 Texas A&M Aggies Not to undersell how ugly the Appalachian State loss was, but some of the takes about Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher last week were wild. Saturday's win over Miami (FL) should be a reminder that, despite the real issues with Jimbo and the program, this is still a good, talented team that's not likely to collapse. (Week 3: Texas A&M 17, Miami (FL) 9; Record: 2-1)

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