Matt Porter’s Associated Press college football top 25 ballot, Week 8

Penn State fans rush the field after an upset of Ohio State. (Getty Images)

Penn State fans rush the field after an upset of Ohio State. (Getty Images)

[Miami beats Notre Dame for recruit]

[Either ND or UM will break a slump this week]

[Richt: I didn’t prepare Kaaya well enough]

[Hurricanes vow to fight after losing third straight]

[Five things we learned from VT loss]

Just when you think you have a handle on how this thing’s going to play out, Penn State blocks a kick and returns it to the house, then holds off Ohio State and makes the Valley the happiest it’s been in quite some time.

Since chaos is fun, here are five six teams primed to further upset the balance of the poll:

Auburn: suddenly on a roll, and we’ve seen how the Iron Bowl can go.

Florida State: has a crack at Clemson this week, finishes with Florida. Noles are talented enough to make someone pay.

Utah: Gets Washington at home, which means it’ll be making a statement or be the win the Huskies need to solidify a playoff spot.

Houston: Needs a win over Louisville next month to late any shot at a New Year’s Six bowl.

Nebraska or Wisconsin: Who’s better? We’ll know this week.

Here’s the ballot I submitted to the Associated Press this week. The AP top 25 comes out at 2 p.m.

  1. Alabama (where I had ’em last week: 1). Last week, one voter had the Tide at No. 2. No good reason then. Now?
  2. Michigan (2). Could Michigan State … nah … it couldn’t … could it? (No.)
  3. Washington (4). Has to avoid a slipup at Utah this week, in a game that’ll have everyone’s attention (3:30 p.m. kick).
  4. Clemson (5). A win this week in Tallahassee locks in a playoff spot.
  5. Louisville (7). Those are the Cards we’re used to seeing.
  6. Baylor (9). Have a weird feeling about Texas winning this week.
  7. Nebraska (10). Not sure what the Huskers’ best win is (and that’s not praise). Beat Wisconsin on the road this week and it’s clear.
  8. Ohio State (3). Not done yet. Winning out and beating Michigan would probably get Buckeyes in the Playoff.
  9. Wisconsin (8). Nebraska’s unbeaten but struggled against lesser teams. Badgers have two losses to playoff contenders.
  10. Texas A&M (6). Has every right to complain about the missed targeting call, but that’s about it.
  11. Auburn (21). I guess we can all look forward to a really good Iron Bowl.
  12. West Virginia (16). People thought TCU was good entering the year.
  13. Florida State (14). Probably done in the Atlantic, but can knock off Clemson. That’s something, right?
  14. Boise State (17). If Houston continues to stumble, could be in line for a New Year’s Six bowl.
  15. Oklahoma (13). Reading the stats from the Texas Tech game made me dizzy.
  16. Tennessee (18). Should recover from Texas A&M, Alabama losses and win its final five. Should.
  17. Florida (19). Looking good heading into Georgia week.
  18. Utah (20). Probably makes the Pac-12 title game even with a loss against Washington this week.
  19. LSU (23). Leonard Fournette’s back, if he shines against Alabama in two weeks, he’s back in the Heisman race.
  20. Penn State (NR). They Are … feeling pretty good about themselves right now.
  21. Western Michigan (23). Has two Tuesday games coming up, which is a nice way to be noticed. Record (8-0) helps too.
  22. North Carolina (24). Should win out from here (Georgia Tech, Duke, Citadel, N.C. State). Betting on an ACC Coastal team to do that is not advisable.
  23. Colorado (25). Stanford’s not good and Buffs didn’t look great, but props to being bowl-eligible for the first time in a decade.
  24. Navy (NR). Houston win doesn’t look as good now, but can keep moving up with a win at USF this week.
  25. Troy (NR). Only loss was to Clemson on the road, and they lost by six.

Dropped out: No. 11 Houston (bad loss to SMU), No. 12 Arkansas (ran out of gas at Auburn), No. 15 Mississippi (good team, good offense, bad defense, four losses, can’t keep ‘em in).

Also considered: Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1 ACC), Washington State (5-2, 4-0 Pac-12), Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1 ACC), San Diego State (6-1, 3-0 MWC), Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12).

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