Matt Porter’s Associated Press college football top 25 ballot, post-championship week

Penn State won the Big Ten ... but didn't make the top four of this AP ballot. (Getty Images)

Penn State won the Big Ten … but didn’t make the top four of this AP ballot. (Getty Images)

[Three Hurricanes get Senior Bowl invites]

[Recruiting roundup: Updates from first postseason week]

[The wild story behind The Rock-Kevin Patrick fight]

[Freshmen get a break; Richt praises Travis Homer]

[Richt on Kaaya’s turnaround, Njoku, NFL draft tidbits]

Well, here it is. I tried to judge on the whole season. And no, my vote has no bearing on what the playoff committee does. Not that I know of, anyway.

I submitted this ballot to the Associated Press early Sunday.

  1. Alabama (where I had ‘em last week: 1; record: 13-0, 8-0 SEC). Zero doubt. From wire to wire, the best team. Now, who’s going to upset them? … Anyone?
  2. Clemson (3 – 12-1, 7-1 ACC). Went 4-1 against teams in the most recent playoff rankings. That’s good. Also, ACC champion, if it matters to anyone.
  3. Ohio State (2 – 11-1, 8-1 Big Ten). Beat everyone but Penn State (a road loss by a field goal). Beatdown of Oklahoma in Norman was the Big Ten’s best nonconference win.
  4. Washington (4 – 12-1, 8-1 Pac-12). Close, but one-loss conference champ makes the cut — especially with all those blowouts along the way, including three to end the year.
  5. Penn State (6 – 11-2, 8-1 Big Ten). Big Ten champs. Beat Ohio State. But fifth. Sorry. Lost to Pitt and got thumped by Michigan.
  6. Michigan (5 – 10-2, 7-2 Big Ten). Pounded three teams in my top 10 before this week.
  7. Wisconsin (7 – 10-3, 7-2 Big Ten). Fell short to Penn State in a thriller.
  8. Oklahoma (9– 10-2, 9-0 Big 12). Soundly beat Oklahoma State in the de-facto Big 12 title game.
  9. Western Michigan (11 – 13-0, 8-0 MAC). The penultimate boat-rowing was a close game, but hey, no one said 13-0 would be easy.
  10. USC (12 – 9-3, 7-2 Pac-12). Deserves a Rose Bowl bid. And if the opponent is Penn State, that’s must-see.
  11. Colorado (8 – 10-3, 8-1 Pac-12). Can’t see the Buffs in Pasadena after a 31-point loss in the Pac-12 title game.
  12. Oklahoma State (10 – 9-3, 7-2 Big 12). Pokes got jobbed against Central Michigan in week 2, but Saturday’s result was decisive.
  13. Florida State (13 – 9-3, 5-3 ACC). Orange Bowl-bound, I’d guess.
  14. West Virginia (14 — 10-2, 7-2 Big 12). ‘Eers lost to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and are decidedly the third-best Big 12 team.
  15.  Auburn (15 — 8-4, 5-3 SEC). Losses to Alabama, Clemson, Texas A&M and — ugh — Georgia.
  16. Nebraska (16 – 9-3, 6-3 Big Ten). Without that overtime loss to Wisconsin, season would feel a lot more satisfying.
  17. Louisville (17 – 9-3, 7-1 ACC). Likely heading to the Citrus Bowl, if ACC gets a bid. If not … hmm.
  18. Virginia Tech (20 — 9-4, 6-2 ACC). Heck of a fight in the ACC title game, and probably deserving of a better bowl than the Belk, but that’s where the Hokies will likely wind up.
  19. Florida (18 — 8-4, 6-2 SEC). Tough way to end the season, with three losses in the final five, including a lopsided defeat in Tallahassee and a 38-point loss to Alabama that wasn’t even that close.
  20. LSU (19 — 7-4, 5-3 SEC). At least Florida got to Atlanta. Let’s not go crazy dropping them behind the Tigers.
  21. Boise State (22 — 10-2, 6-2 Mountain West). Keeping the Broncos here rather than pushing in Mountain West title combatants Wyoming (lost three of four to end the year) and San Diego State (two of three, plus an early-October blowout loss at South Alabama).
  22. Iowa (23 — 8-4, 6-3 Big Ten)Claims to fame: beat Michigan and Nebraska in the final three weeks. The losses to Penn State and Wisconsin (and FCS powerhouse North Dakota State) don’t hurt as much as the Northwestern loss does.
  23. Stanford (24 – 9-3, 6-3 Pac-12). Chance to end the year with six wins in a row. Wouldn’t want to play ’em now.
  24. Temple (10-3, 7-1 American). A strong win over Navy in the American title game. Lost at Penn State by a touchdown, lost at Memphis by a touchdown. Only bad loss: Two-score loss to Army to open the year.
  25. South Florida (25 — 10-2, 7-1 American). Credit for a 10-win season (only conference loss: Temple).

Dropped out: No. 22 Navy

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