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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide Nothing's changed here.  Still the best team in the country as of now and get a big test in Gainesville this weekend.
2 Georgia Bulldogs Georgia found some offense against UAB in the absence of JT Daniels.  Defense is still arguably top 3 in the country.
3 Iowa Hawkeyes Iowa has maybe the best overall resume in the country as of now.  Road win over rival, and another win over a team that was ranked.  The defense is looking very legit 
4 Oregon Ducks Ducks went into Columbus short-handed and not only won, but never trailed and the defense made a lot of plays.  Talent all over the place, but I'm not sure how far the Ducks can go when they need to rely on Anthony Brown more.
5 Oklahoma Sooners Granted it was weak opposition, but Oklahoma started looking better on offense and defense.  I'm expecting another huge performance against Nebraska. 
6 Clemson Tigers Clemson looked more like the team we've grown accustomed to seeing, although it was a much weaker opponent than UGA.  Clemson will need chaos above them to start moving up more though.
7 Cincinnati Bearcats Still the premier G5 team.  Started slow but ended up dominating and now they get a huge resume building game at Indiana.
8 Florida Gators Florida may have found their QB and it might not be Emory Jones.  Florida is very strong but now we'll see how they fare against Alabama when the Tide come to the Swamp.
9 Texas A&M Aggies The Aggie defense is very legit, but the offense is really concerning.  King picked up injury and Calzada didn't look ready to step up and lead the offense.  A better team than Colorado was beating A&M on Saturday.
10 Ohio State Buckeyes While not perfect, CJ Stroud and the WRs looked really good against Oregon.  However, the running game couldn't take advantage of a shorthanded Oregon defense and the Buckeye defense is looking like a major liability.
11 Penn State Nittany Lions PSU looked solid all over the place although I still have some questions about the offense.  Some answers may appear as Auburn comes to town.
12 UCLA Bruins 12 may be high, but UCLA has looked like a very impressive team thus far.  They move up as they remain one of the undefeated teams after a week off, but now the Bruins get to play a very good Fresno State team.
13 Virginia Tech Hokies Still undefeated and the Hokies might finally be returning to the team that was a force in the ACC for years.  They get to play a rivalry game at West Virginia.
14 North Carolina Tar Heels I'm still much higher on UNC than most.  14 may be high but I do believe this is a top 15 team on their day.  Easy win this weekend and now move on to Virginia.
15 Arizona State Sun Devils Herm Edwards has this team going in the right direction for sure.  UNLV didn't pose a challenge, but BYU this weekend will provide a litmus test.
16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Even though Kansas doesn't pose much of a challenge, CC is starting to look like the real deal and not just a 2020 Cinderella.
17 Iowa State Cyclones Cyclones are a good team, but they can't stop getting in their own way with turnovers and miscues.  ISU will keep falling the way they're playing.
18 Wisconsin Badgers Nice rebound after a tough loss to PSU.  As usual, Badgers are strong in defense and running, and Mertz didn't look terrible.  Still need to see more from Mertz that shows he can win close games against better opposition.
19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame didn't have a good weekend.  They won, but struggled badly against Toledo, and Florida State lost to Jacksonville State.  ND will need to figure it out soon.
20 Ole Miss Rebels Offense is still great like last season, but the defense looks very much improved.  Ole Miss can cause some chaos in the SEC this season.
21 Auburn Tigers Auburn has looked good through the first 2 games of the Harsin era, but it was also expected taking into account the opposition.  Auburn will find out how good they are against Penn State on Saturday.
22 Michigan Wolverines While Washington is turning out to be crappy, Michigan still showed a lot of improvement from last season's disaster.  Run game is strong as is the defense, but QB is still a major question mark.
23 BYU Cougars First win over Utah in nearly a decade and BYU looks like they aren't missing Zach Wilson as much.  The Cougars will get another ranked team coming to Provo and another win would be huge.
24 UCF Knights UCF's offense looks like it will still light up the scoreboard under the Gus Bus.  Defense also looks like it will be much better than in 2020.  Put those together and you have a top-25 team.
25 Arkansas Razorbacks Massive win over Texas at home.  A far cry from the Morris era, they're deserving of a ranking and will have opportunities to continue moving up.

Submitted: Mon 13 Sep 2021 08:54