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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:
I try to rank based on resume, which can create some weird results. I do not base my rankings off my previous ones whatsoever, as that just leaves teams with worse resumes higher than they should be. MOV does not play much of a role in my rankings, either.

Rank Team Reason
1 Georgia Bulldogs Not much to say about Georgia, obviously the best team in the country as of this moment.
2 Cincinnati Bearcats Cincinnati really picked up with their blowout win against SMU, which I wasn't too surprised about; Cinci seemed to take their foot off the gas during most of conference play, but they picked it up with a strong opponent. They also dominated Notre Dame on the road earlier in the season, and they haven't lost yet; as such, I have them #2.
3 Alabama Crimson Tide Okay, Alabama vs. Ohio State is a very interesting debate. Their resumes are very similar in my opinion; Alabama beat Ole Miss at home, Mississippi State on the road, Arkansas at home and some decent teams in Tennessee and Miami. They did lose at Texas A&M, however.
4 Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State absolutely dominated Michigan State this week, which leads me to actually believing they're a really good team; wins at home against Purdue and Penn State also help, along with a win at Minnesota. They did lose at home to Oregon, however. OSU remains just behind Alabama for me due to the fact that their best road win is against an okay Minnesota team. However, you could flip them and I'd have no issues.
5 Oklahoma State Cowboys Oklahoma State has quietly been building up a good resume throughout this season, headlined by a great win at home against Baylor, but they also have some decent wins at home against Kansas State and on the road against Boise State and Texas Tech. Their one loss at Iowa State isn't terrible either, and I think they've been overlooked the entire year. However, their resume isn't at the level of Alabama and Ohio State, mainly because their depth is a lot weaker.
6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame carries a strong win at Wisconsin at the top of their resume, with a home win against Purdue in there as well; they have some decent depth wins against ACC teams in UNC and UVA. However, they did lose at home to Cincinnati, and they don't really have a top win in there at all; winning at Wisconsin is good, but not groundbreaking.
7 Baylor Bears Baylor finally picked up a good road win at Kansas State, which adds to their great wins vs. Oklahoma and vs. BYU. However, they have two losses; at Oklahoma State, and a rough one at TCU. They do have a win at home against Iowa State, which is decent, and those wins are good enough to keep them at #7 as the top 2 loss team.
8 Michigan Wolverines Michigan's resume is lead by wins at Wisconsin and Penn State, but it drops off immediately after there, with a win vs. Northern Illinois being their 3rd best (at least NIU is 8-3?). Their game vs. Ohio State will be huge for both teams' resume, and their one loss at Michigan State isn't bad at all.
9 UTSA Roadrunners MEEP MEEP! UTSA survived against UAB in an extremely stressful finish, but that is a decent win; they have three wins against 7-4 C-USA teams, in WKU (road), UAB (home) and UTEP (road), as well as road wins against Illinois and Memphis. None of those wins are too great, but they are still undefeated.
10 Ole Miss Rebels Ole Miss has been kinda quiet this season, but they have a solid resume, lead by home wins against Texas A&M and Arkansas. After that, they don't have great depth, though wins at Tennessee and vs. Liberty aren't exactly easy to get. They do have 2 losses however, at Alabama and at Auburn, the latter of which just lost to South Carolina...yikes.
11 Oregon Ducks Oregon has pretty much the best win in the country, at Ohio State, but after that they've been stuck in the Pac-12 with less opportunities for solid wins; a home win against Fresno State and a road win against UCLA are their two next best, and they just got killed at Utah. In addition to that Utah loss, they have an awful loss at Stanford in OT, which definitely holds them back.
12 BYU Cougars BYU has just kinda floated along all season; they do have a notable top win finally, after Utah picked up that win against Oregon, but they've always had a bunch of decent wins, with wins vs. Arizona State, vs. Virginia, at Utah State and at Wazzu. However, they did lose at Baylor and had a loss at home against Boise (which doesn't look as bad as it did at the time).
13 Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma does not know how to win convincingly, it seems, as they really don't have a particularly impressive win against any team better than Texas Tech. They survived Iowa State at home, which adds to a decent win at Kansas State, but they lost at Baylor and don't have many decent wins. A road game at Oklahoma State is their last chance to make an effort to make the playoff, but even if they beat them twice, I don't see them making it.
14 Michigan State Spartans Well, there goes Michigan State's perceived notions of being good. That was ugly at Ohio State, as they got killed (56-7!). Their resume wasn't great anyway, with it basically being a home win against Michigan and then some okay wins at Miami and vs. WKU, but with that OSU loss and their road loss to Purdue, they don't really have a reason to be any higher.
15 San Diego State Aztecs San Diego State's best win at home against Utah in 3OT just got a whole lot better, but the rest of the Mountain West has kinda taken a step back this week. I guess the Air Force win did get better, but they beat Nevada, which was another key win for SDSU. They did lose at home against Fresno as well, but that is their only loss.
16 Iowa Hawkeyes Iowa picked up another decent win at home against Minnesota, to add to home wins against Penn State and Iowa State, but they don't really have a standout win in there. They did lose at Wisconsin and at home against Purdue, and the lack of a top win and 2 losses keeps them below SDSU.
17 Utah Utes Utah is the big story of the week, with their blowout win at home against Oregon. That gave them a much needed top win, to add to home wins against Arizona State, UCLA and Wazzu. However, they do still have three losses, at SDSU (in 3OT), at BYU and at Oregon State. I do have them as the top three loss team as of now though, because they have decent wins and no truly bad loss. Their best road win is against USC however, which makes me wary of them.
18 Texas A&M Aggies Texas A&M holds one of the best wins in the country, at home against Alabama, but after that their second best win is against Auburn at home which is...not great after Auburn lost to South Carolina. With three losses as well (at Ole Miss, at Arkansas and vs. MSST), their resume looks a lot worse this week than it did last week.
19 Wisconsin Badgers Wisconsin started out 1-3 with home losses to Penn State, Notre Dame and Michigan with their only win being at home against Eastern Michigan. Since then, they've won 7 games in a row, picking up wins at home against Iowa, at Purdue, and at home against Army; EMU is also 7-4, so that is a decent win too, I guess. Their lack of a true top win hurts, and their depth isn't great, but they really have turned things around, and I'm impressed. If they win at Minnesota, I'll be intrigued for their game against OSU or Michigan.
20 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns UL-Lafayette has rolled through this season since losing at Texas in the first game of the year, winning 10 in a row. They picked up a solid win vs. App State and a decent win at Liberty along the way, which are nice pieces for their resume. The Texas loss has been steadily getting worse week by week, but outside of that, they've been great.
21 Houston Cougars Houston is in a similar position to UL-Lafayette, dropping a week 1 game to Texas Tech at home, but having won 10 in a row since. Their highlights are a home win against SMU, and then an OT win at home against a 7-4 ECU (they really came out of nowhere), and a home win against Memphis. However, I feel like their wins are weaker than ULL's, and I have them just below ULL as such.
22 Purdue Boilermakers Choo Choo! Purdue may have lost to Ohio State, but wins at home against Michigan State and at Iowa are still solid, and their season opening home win against Oregon State also looks decent. They do have four losses though; the aforementioned OSU loss, one at Notre Dame, one at home against Wisconsin and one at home against Minnesota. Those wins are solid enough for them to be above Wake, in my opinion. I cannot put a 4 loss team above a 1 loss team that looks decent resume wise, so this is where Purdue's ranking stops, at #22.
23 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Well, Clemson finally looked good in a game this season; it took a while, and it came at the cost of the ACC's playoff hopes, which lied in Wake and Wake only. Wake Forest still has a solid home win against NC State, but after that, they've beaten Army on the road and some okay ACC teams (at UVA, vs. Louisville). They also lost at UNC, which does not help either.
24 Arkansas Razorbacks Arkansas may have 4 losses, but they've been a solid team; wins vs. Texas A&M and Mississippi State headline their resume, and they don't have a bad loss (they've lost at Georgia, at Alabama, at Ole Miss and vs. Auburn). However, having 4 losses definitely hurts resume-wise.
25 Pittsburgh Panthers Pittsburgh's resume feels very similar to Wake's in my opinion, at least on the wins front. They have a similar top win at home against Clemson, and some decent depth wins at Tennessee, vs. UNC, and vs. UVA. Their losses, however, are significantly worse; they lost at home to Miami and WMU, both of which are 6-5. Those losses keep them below Arkansas for me. First 5 out: Mississippi State, Clemson, Fresno State, Appalachian State, NC State

Submitted: Tue 23 Nov 2021 05:32