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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:
Only taking Week 1 into consideration. Value who you play so if it's a weaker opponent you better have mauled em to consider them over someone who played a closer game to tougher competition. This "Most Deserving" method of ranking does lead to some pretty hard volatility the first 4-6 weeks as data points come in but I feel it gives a better late season ranking. Human version of some of the computer rankings in that aspect I suppose. Lots of teams had roughly Top 25 deserving results and I probably considered close to 50 teams for 25 spots.

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide Still look like the best team in the country. A weak Mercer matchup let another team push for deserving the #1 spot but I gave the push to the Crimson Tide and the Saban machine.
2 Iowa Hawkeyes A team that has really shot up the rankings to start the year. I think, while Indiana was a bit lucky last year, they are still a team on the fringes of Top 25. Then ISU is going to finish the year Top 20 imo. The combination of these two was worth more this week than UGA's higher high in Clemson. Like my explanation says though the first few weeks can be very fluid.
3 Georgia Bulldogs A weak Week 2 matchup lets the Hawkeyes pass them up for now. UAB is a solid defensive team so that is a decent sign for UGA. Despite starting SEC play their next two weeks aren't very tough with USCe and Vandy. Depending on other matchups they could certainly drop a spot or two temporarily.
4 Oregon Ducks What a performance and win. I was doubtful with their injuries but they BULLIED Ohio State out there. Fresno has looked really good too, potential top G5 team there. A win that certainly puts themselves in control of their own destiny to finish out the year.
5 Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State gets the push against the #6 team due to quality of opponent to start the year but you have to have some concern the rest of the way if you're a Buckeye's fan. Not a lot of wiggle room and the most beatable team they've fielded in a few years.
6 Penn State Nittany Lions Take care of business week. With a Top 25 Auburn (more on them later) next week they certainly have the opportunity to reach even higher in the rankings.
7 UCLA Bruins Pretty even with Penn State, PSU probably beat the better team but UCLA did it more resoundingly. Both have beat up on a lower talent team (though I think Ball State is probably better than Hawai'i). The bye this week doesn't give us much new info in the way of information though.
8 Clemson Tigers Clearly still a very good team, Clemson did more than a lot of teams in their conference by handling their FCS opponent. They have plenty of opportunities to rack up wins the rest of the way but signature moments are going to be lacking it seems.
9 BYU Cougars I'm going to be honest, I did not expect to rank them #8. I kept comparing their record so far and going "well, the other team doesn't have two games better than this." Starting off with a bad PAC-12 and then one that seems to be in the running for a top 4 finish. Neither was necessarily all that pretty but sometimes the motto "Just Win" really does hold out.
10 Arkansas Razorbacks Speaking of just winning, somebody absolutely BOATRACED an old rival. Rice is looking like not a complete bottom dweller and I think Texas maybe hit a slightly down ULL in Week 1. I don't think Arkansas can sustain this ranking for long but hell of a start either way.
11 Virginia Tech Hokies Pretty decent showing against MTSU in Week 2. Movement has more to do with other around them. UNC is a fine win right now but who nows how long that will last.
12 Cincinnati Bearcats While the schedule has started off weak they have looked absolutely business like with their victories so far. Kinda the same reasoning I left Bama at #1 is the reason Cincinnati is still floating around the Top 10 despite lack of competition.
13 Oklahoma Sooners 76 points is 76 points but WCU is atrocious. The close Tulane loss is what keeps them behind Cincinnati for now. Still control their own destiny, just need to start getting into a stretch of games with better competition to move up more.
14 Pittsburgh Panthers Pitt is below Cincinnati and Oklahoma because I am still skeptical on how good Tennessee will be this year. That said, they seemed good enough to be up here for now. Pitt might be decent? Weird times.
15 Ole Miss Rebels Handling their business. Tennessee I think is bad, Louisville IS bad so I give Pitt the edge with ranking because both teams other game has been a very bad FCS/UMass. Will be interesting to see what Tulane is like next week.
16 Florida Gators Anthony Richardson is just different. His health could be big though. Either way, neither game was all that close or against all that good competition. Just a tough team to gauge right now. We will learn a lot against Alabama this week.
17 Texas A&M Aggies I am not very high on Colorado so a close and struggling win against them is a very bad sign to me. You can make the argument for putting them above UF, pretty even resume's and maybe I'm being to harsh about struggling against the Buffs, we shall see.
18 Wisconsin Badgers Playing a slug fest against PSU is still a good result but I would have liked a more resounding result against Eastern Michigan to be honest.
19 Stanford Cardinal I struggled mightily on where to place this team. Here for now but after Vandy next week they have UCLA and Oregon back to back. They'll justify any ranking or not then.
20 Miami Hurricanes I think App. State is quite good. You'd love to see them handle business better though. I would not be surprised at all to see them drop out of the Top 25 at some point before the mid point of the season.
21 Kansas State Wildcats You might wonder how, despite winning by 17 points over Stanford, they are two rankings lower. 7 point win vs Southern Illinois. I struggled not ranking them above, and later in the season if the records were the same they would surely take the edge, but with two data points I give the push to Stanford and Miami's efforts against two games of tougher competition.
22 UCF Knights Took care of business, have set them selves up nicely to make a good first season with Gus.
23 Michigan State Spartans NU probably isn't good, but two solid performances so far. Traveling to South Beach next week will give us a better idea of these two teams.
24 Virginia Cavaliers This UVA offense is looking interesting through two pretty easy wins. I will be intrigued how they go through the rest of the season.
25 Auburn Tigers Auburn has looked absolutely dominant through two games but against absolutely no competition. That changes heading into Happy Valley and a white out game. We will learn if this is just beating up over-matched opponents or a good team.

Submitted: Sun 12 Sep 2021 19:17