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Ballot Type: computer

Overall Rationale:
See previous ballots

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 9217
2 Clemson Tigers 8377
3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6232
4 Oklahoma Sooners 6078
5 Ohio State Buckeyes 5929; My computer picked the same top 5 as the CFP, and the numbers show how close a race it was for the 4th spot.
6 UCF Knights 5878; Where it diverges is on the placement of UCF and Georgia. My computer had UCF right up there with Ohio State contending for that fourth spot.
7 Georgia Bulldogs 5407
8 Washington Huskies 4255
9 Fresno State Bulldogs 4010; The computer is really high on the MWC as a whole this season. Three teams finished with 3 losses or fewer, so that's probably a big reason.
10 Boise State Broncos 4001; Boise also had a good win over Sun Belt contender Troy. Boise and Fresno exchanged wins, with the net effect of boosting each other higher.
11 Michigan Wolverines 3989
12 LSU Tigers 3909
13 Kentucky Wildcats 3503; My computer would have put Kentucky in the Peach Bowl instead of Florida. Because Kentucky beat Florida. In football.
14 Washington State Cougars 3460; I was surprised to see Wazzu fall so far after the Apple Cup, and with championship weekend, others passed them by. If I were personally selecting for the NY6 based on my own opinions, Wazzu would be in the Peach bowl instead of Kentucky or Florida - finishing with just two losses is harder than finishing with three, no matter which P5 conference you play in.
15 Texas Longhorns 3422
16 Appalachian State Mountaineers 3284; #RankAppState
17 Texas A&M Aggies 3277
18 Penn State Nittany Lions 3197
19 Florida Gators 3170; My computer is also really high on the SEC, lots of middling teams with few losses. The good record overcomes the bad OOC scheduling, and the "quality" losses to either Bama or Georgia (or both) are less worse than other P5 teams' "quality" losses.
20 Syracuse Orange 2760; Giant drop between Florida and Syracuse, but the Orange were undoubtedly second-best in the ACC this year. Nobody else in the conference got so close to beating Clemson. That said, only Clemson and maybe Syracuse are decent teams at all in the ACC. Good thing squeaky-shoes season is coming up.
21 Utah State Aggies 2639; Rounding out the MWC at just two losses, Utah State doesn't have the same strength of schedule advantage as Boise and Fresno to boost their rankings another few spots.
22 Cincinnati Bearcats 2630; Like the ACC, the AAC suffers from having one great team, approximately one decent team, and a whole lot of not much else.
23 Missouri Tigers 2594; Oh look another 4-loss SEC team. Play 9 conference games already dammit.
24 Utah Utes 2588; Despite the Pac-12 being absolutely miserable this year, they somehow snuck three teams into the rankings. That's more than the XII or ACC can claim.
25 Army West Point 2557; Next 15 out: #26 UAB (2539), #27 Purdue (2511), #28 Georgia Southern (2452), #29 Buffalo (2431), #30 Stanford (2427), #31 Mississippi State (2387), #32 Troy (2374), #33 West Virginia (2358), #34 Auburn (2328), #35 NC State (2263), #36 Michigan State (2261), #37 Northwestern (2254), #38 Pittsburgh (2154), #39 Oregon (2119), #40 Iowa State (1985)

Submitted: Tue 04 Dec 2018 05:41