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Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:

Rank Team Reason
1 Georgia Bulldogs Nothing new was learned about Georgia against Charleston Southern, and that will likely be the same against Georgia Tech this season.  UGA has certainly played like the best team this season but their schedule has been weaker thanks to a "meh" SEC East
2 Ohio State Buckeyes I've been saying for weeks this is the 2nd best team in the country and Ohio State proved it with a comprehensive drubbing of Michigan State.  I fully expect OSU to win by multiple possessions against Michigan too.
3 Alabama Crimson Tide Alabama is certainly a very talented team, but there's some obvious weaknesses.  The Tide are vulnerable in the secondary and their trenches aren't as strong as normal.  Alabama should beat Auburn but the SEC championship against Georgia will be an interesting test for them.
4 Cincinnati Bearcats The Cincinnati we've been waiting to see finally showed up and blew out a good SMU team with relative ease.  Thanks to the chaos around them, the Bearcats should also be in the top 4 come Tuesday, but a trickier than usual trip to East Carolina awaits.
5 Michigan Wolverines Michigan took care of Maryland pretty easily but I worry about how they'll do against Ohio State.  If their defense goes the way of Michigan State's and allows early and quick TDs, then they'll be annihilated.  They certainly have a better defense than the Spartans but their offense is inconsistent and I don't fully trust Harbaugh in big games.
6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame might be having the quietest top 10 season in recent memory.  They've won every game except their home loss to Cincinnati and they've quietly put themselves in the playoff race.  However with one game left against a bad Stanford team, they don't have much opportunity to impress and they'll need a lot of chaos to get in.
7 Oklahoma State Cowboys Oklahoma State's defense is the most underrated unit in the country and they get a home matchup against a struggling and inconsistent Oklahoma offense.  They've already clinched a Big 12 Championship spot but a win over Oklahoma puts them right in position to steal a playoff spot.
8 Baylor Bears Baylor beat a good KSU team on the road, but lost stud QB Gerry Bohanon in the process.  Losing him will hurt Baylor if he's out for an extended period and Baylor needs Oklahoma to lose to get into the Big 12 CCG.  
9 Ole Miss Rebels Ole Miss kept it too close for comfort against Vanderbilt.  They're a borderline top 10 team with a chance to solidify that against Mississippi State on Thanksgiving.
10 Oklahoma Sooners The same problems are persisting for OU's offense.  They got a temporary boost from Caleb Williams but their last two games haven't been great.  The run game showed up more against Iowa State but the passing game has been dead.  Things don't get easier on the road, where the defense has also struggled, against Oklahoma State and their defense.
11 Michigan State Spartans The not-talked-about-as-much-as-it-should-be pass defense of Sparty was MSU's downfall in Columbus.  They allowed too many early points to OSU and it took their Heisman level RB out of the game.  The blowout drops them out of the top 10.
12 Texas A&M Aggies Nothing really learned about A&M against the other A&M and they can close out the season against LSU in Coach O's finale.  This is one of the most talented teams in the country but struggled this season with consistency.
13 Wisconsin Badgers Wisconsin, after a disappointing start, is one of the hottest teams in the country and a win over Minnesota should book their spot in the Big 10 Championship.  Graham Mertz is playing better, the defense is a wall, and the RB injuries don't seem to be an issue.
14 Utah Utes Utah is on fire after trucking through Oregon.  Right now they're clearly the best team in the Pac-12 but may have to play Oregon again in a couple weeks.  The Utes are riding their solid defense and strong run game to a possible 10-win season.
15 Houston Cougars Houston might be the 2nd best G5 team in the country.  They technically lead the American and get a chance to book a NY6 trip against Cincinnati in the championship game.  
16 BYU Cougars I don't think BYU is as good as the rest of the country seems to believe, but that doesn't mean the Cougars aren't bad.  It wasn't a great performance against Georgia Southern and that type of game has been the norm for BYU this season.  They end their season against USC but it might not be enough to get into the NY6.
17 Oregon Ducks Oregon had been teetering on this edge for a while now.  Since beating Ohio State, they've really struggled to dominate in most games and that loss to Stanford was looking worse and worse by the week.  They finally collapsed against Utah in spectacularly bad fashion.  Anthony Brown is a liability and their defense is too streaky.
18 UTSA Roadrunners UTSA passed their toughest test against UAB, in large part because Sincere McCormick didn't dominate.  UTSA is still having a dream season though.
19 Pittsburgh Panthers Pitt came out on top in a battle of great QBs.  Pickett threw over 400 yards and 4 TDs again and probably cemented his seat in NYC for the Heisman ceremony.  And most importantly, Pitt has a strong chance at winning the ACC.
20 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Wake's defense is a serious problem.  They went against an underwhelming (although playing better) Clemson offense and still gave up 40 for 4th time in 5 games and nearly 50 for the 3rd time in that same span.  We saw that without the offense putting up nearly 50 themselves, they're in real trouble. 
21 Iowa Hawkeyes Iowa might be really low for a 2-loss team but they just haven't been that impressive to me after the first few weeks.  The Hawkeyes still have offense issues and their defense isn't as hot as they were early in the season.
22 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Louisiana got an uncommon decisive victory over Troy.  The team has started off with what appear to be runaway victories, but turn those into close wins way too often.  That loss to Texas early in the season looks kinda bad now.
23 NC State Wolfpack NC State took care of Syracuse and are still alive in the ACC.  They get into the top 25 over Clemson due to H2H over the Tigers.
24 San Diego State Aztecs SDSU is in good position to make the MW Championship and they're a good, difficult-to-beat team.  However, some of these games they are winning are too close.  The Aztecs end their regular season against a hot Boise State team.
25 Arkansas Razorbacks Arkansas may have lost, but they performed really admirably and like a top 25 team in Tuscaloosa against Alabama.  Sam Pittman has this program going in the right direction and Arkansas could be a real player in the SEC in the next couple years.

Submitted: Mon 22 Nov 2021 08:07