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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:
This is probably going to be my most controversial ballot so far, so a little explanation is warranted. I don't like overreacting to early season wins/losses, but there's always the chance to course-correct as the season unfolds. To wit: I'm still not sold on any team from the state of Iowa and don't consider the Hawkeyes' win a clear-cut top-5 performance. Clemson and Ohio St still have a ton of talent and shouldn't be punished too aggressively for their close losses (although I'll adjust this if Oregon turns out to be worse than expected). Similarly, I didn't buy the Aggies hype in preseason and a close win against a Colorado team that isn't good doesn't, IMO, justify them being ranked ahead of Clemson or Ohio St. The SEC is down overall (despite the impressive win/loss record against out-of-conference opponents), so the Aggies might skate on an easier schedule to a mostly-unwarranted top-10 finish. The only reason I'm not punishing ND more for a close win against Toledo is it's hard to imagine UCLA and others actually being better than the Irish.

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Georgia Bulldogs
3 Oklahoma Sooners
4 Oregon Ducks
5 Clemson Tigers
6 Iowa Hawkeyes
7 Cincinnati Bearcats
8 Ohio State Buckeyes
9 Texas A&M Aggies
10 Penn State Nittany Lions
11 Florida Gators
12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
13 UCLA Bruins
14 Iowa State Cyclones
15 Virginia Tech Hokies
16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
17 Ole Miss Rebels
18 Wisconsin Badgers
19 Arizona State Sun Devils
20 Arkansas Razorbacks
21 NC State Wolfpack
22 Auburn Tigers
23 BYU Cougars
24 Michigan Wolverines
25 UCF Knights

Submitted: Tue 14 Sep 2021 12:15