Matt Porter’s Associated Press college football top 25 ballot, Week 3

Lamar Jackson and Louisville put another dominant performance on tape. (Getty Images)

Lamar Jackson and Louisville put another dominant performance on tape. (Getty Images)

Hate to talk about the same team two weeks in a row, but man, Louisville.

Could the Cardinals really be a playoff contender? That looks very possible after they thoroughly demolished Florida State, a game in which FSU allowed 60 points for the first time in its history. Lamar Jackson was so good, Michael Vick tweeted he is “5X” the player he was at Virginia Tech. And Vick was one of the best college quarterbacks ever.

The Cards are more than just Jackson, though. They held Dalvin Cook to 62 yards of offense. That front seven is beastly.

What of the Noles? They’re having trouble protecting their true freshman quarterback, were missing their best defensive player, and were playing in a tough road environment. Still a good team. This also likely means UM is getting a refocused FSU when the Seminoles visit Oct. 8, because that’s how college football goes.

A few interesting matchups in Week 4, including Clemson (3-0) visiting Georgia Tech (3-0) on Thursday; Florida-Tennessee, Wisconsin-Michigan State, Georgia-Mississippi, Stanford-UCLA and Arkansas-Texas A&M on Saturday.

Here’s the ballot I will submit to the Associated Press this week. Note: I ranked Miami No. 23 on last week’s ballot (which you can click here to see on the AP’s site). I moved the Hurricanes up a couple spots this week.

  1. Alabama (1). Survived Ole Miss on the road.
  2. Ohio State (4). Nothing tight about win at Oklahoma. Will get No. 1 votes.
  3. Michigan (2). Colorado went up 21-7 early, but the final three quarters were a different story.
  4. Louisville (12). Even Michael Vick thinks Lamar Jackson is that dude.
  5. Houston (5). Cincy win tight for a spell, but Cougs’ defense carried the day.
  6. Stanford (6). Perfectly fine win over USC. It was fine.
  7. Clemson (7). Shortened game vs. FCS team, now short week before Georgia Tech.
  8. Washington (9). Another easy win, this time over an FCS team.
  9. Michigan State (17). Sparty looks legit. Impressive at Notre Dame.
  10. Florida State (3). Lost to an outstanding team on the road, even though it was by a huge margin.
  11. Texas A&M (11). Looking like a contender in the SEC West.
  12. Oklahoma (8). Still good, but two losses means playoff chances likely gone.
  13. LSU (16). Wild second half vs. Mississippi State, but they’ll take the win.
  14. Mississippi (10). Another second-half letdown, this time against Alabama.
  15. Georgia (21). Survived at Missouri, so, points for winning on the road.
  16. Miami (23). Point differential third nationally; second in points allowed.
  17. Arkansas (25). Blowout win and has Texas A&M on deck.
  18. Wisconsin (13).  Sat Corey Clement and struggled with Georgia State.
  19. Texas (14). Lost a shootout on the road, has a bye before Big 12 play opens.
  20. Tennessee (15). Not high on the Vols after a 9-point win over Ohio.
  21. Baylor (NR). A very good offense they’ve got there in Waco.
  22. North Carolina (22). Two-week lull in the schedule and now Pitt, FSU.
  23. Florida (24). No defense has allowed fewer points (14).
  24. Notre Dame (18). Sparty came to South Bend and left with Irish’s playoff hopes.
  25. Nebraska (NR). Win over ranked team put Huskers at 3-0.

Dropped: No. 19 Oregon (dropped one on the road to unranked Nebraska), No. 20 Iowa (lost to FCS buzzsaw North Dakota State, and I wasn’t a big believer in the Hawkeyes anyway).

Also considered: North Dakota State (3-0), Oklahoma State (2-1).

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