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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:

Rank Team Reason
1 Georgia Bulldogs UGA was trending this way with or without Alabama's loss. The defense has been stifling and as others have mentioned on the sub, people always decide offenses were overrated...after they lose to UGA. Even with Stetson Bennett under center the offense has been humming. If you didn't watch the DSOR, the win looks comfortable. If you did, UGA only trailed for a few minutes (the only time all season) and once they went ahead they never looked back. It's one of the most complete teams I've ever seen.
2 Iowa Hawkeyes Weird year to have Iowa number 2. I like Kirk Ferentz but mostly I like that every time Iowa got close enough to firing him he'd pull out a 10-win season. While they've been somewhat more consistent recently, I'm still not sold on this team as a top-5 caliber squad. Penn State tends to have more talent and better recruiting, so Iowa can at least hang their hat on that win. But given the divisions in the B1G and the way traditional teams are down this year, the Hawkeyes might not lose another game in the regular season.
3 Cincinnati Bearcats Fickell has just done a phenomenal job with this program. I'd love to see the Bearcats make the playoff.
4 Ohio State Buckeyes Yes, early season loss to an Oregon team who's been up and down. Since then, 41, 59, 52, and 66 points scored. This team is ridiculous. Is it fair to rate them above an undefeated Oklahoma? I don't think so. Their wins have been blowouts. The record is impressive and I think Ohio St vs Oklahoma, Iowa, or Cincinnati is a blowout win for the Buckeyes. We'll see how they stack up against Penn St.
5 Oklahoma Sooners Despite being number 4 and undefeated, this is the weakest Lincoln Riley team in a long time. Texas really should have had their number in the Red River Shootout and Rattler went from a preseason Heisman favorite to the bench. I dunno what's going on here. Undefeated, yes, but every game save one has been by one TD or less. That doesn't inspire a ton of confidence even if the rest of their schedule shapes up nicely.
6 Alabama Crimson Tide Bama has had a tougher season (even accounting for SEC bias) than most of the teams ranked above them and have come through with convincing wins...until this week. I still like the fundamentals of Alabama football but this feels like the closest thing Saban has to a down year. A&M schemed the shit out of them and deserved the win. There are cracks in the armor even though on net I'd still say they've been more convincing than undefeated Oklahoma. The real spice of the loss is that now the SECCG will be "win or go home" for Bama in a way it wasn't on Friday.
7 Penn State Nittany Lions
8 Michigan Wolverines much like Kirk Ferentz I refuse to believe that this deep into his tenure Harbaugh has gotten it figured out but, for now at least, results don't lie.
9 Oregon Ducks Oregon's win over Ohio St in Columbus remains one of the best wins for any team this season.
10 Michigan State Spartans
11 Kentucky Wildcats Mark Stoops has done a hell of a job at Kentucky. Rather than fight with the traditional powerhouses for talent he's skipping over the river into Ohio and taking guys who aren't getting onto Ohio St's radar. I don't think it's controversial to say that Georgia and Florida have more talent than the Wildcats. But they're undefeated in conference play and this Cinderella run keeps on going.
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys
13 Ole Miss Rebels
14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame has won 3 of their games by a combined 9 points. I get that every team has their big rivalry and their trap game but as usual a combination of preseason hype and some early results led everyone to believe the Irish are better than they probably are.
15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
16 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
17 Arizona State Sun Devils
18 BYU Cougars
19 Arkansas Razorbacks
20 Florida Gators
21 Texas A&M Aggies if you're only gonna have one Quality Win, make it against Nick Saban.
22 NC State Wolfpack
23 SMU Mustangs
24 Texas Longhorns
25 San Diego State Aztecs

Submitted: Tue 12 Oct 2021 11:58