Notre Dame Miami Football

Miami fans cheer during the second half of Saturday's 41-8 victory over Notre Dame in Miami Gardens, Fla. Miami won 41-8.


Whenever I hear from folks interested in my ballot for the Associated Press college football poll - some more civil than others as they question where their favorite team might be slotted in a given week - my typical response is that I've found over time that things have a way of working themselves out.

It's pointless to get bent out of shape on an otherwise pleasant Sunday about why a 5-0 team in early October is rated behind another 5-0 team.

If the team is that good, it will work itself out.

Thanks to Auburn's win over previously unbeaten Georgia, there are now only four teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision remaining with unblemished records.

History indicates that over the next few weeks, that number will be cut even further.

But for now, unbeaten Alabama, Miami (Fla.) and Wisconsin fill the top three spots on my AP ballot. The fourth unbeaten, UCF, moved from 15 to 12 on my ballot this week after Scott Frost's team handled Connecticut.

Miami (Fla.) and Wisconsin dominated on Saturday, routing Notre Dame and Iowa.

Miami is definitely back, and will test Clemson, the fourth team on my ballot this week in the ACC title game next month.

The Badgers' defense is as good as advertised and combines with freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to give Wisconsin a chance in any game.

I have Oklahoma in fifth this week, followed by Ohio State, Auburn, Georgia, Penn State and Oklahoma State. Notre Dame leads off the second 10, one spot in front of Central Florida.

Alabama survived a scare from Mississippi State, which was among five teams in the last seven spots on my ballot from a week ago to lose Saturday.

Of those five, Mississippi State is the only team from that 19-25 range to lose and remain on my ballot this week.

Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Iowa and Toledo are out and for now, Stanford, Michigan, North Carolina State and an 8-2 Army team on a six-game win streak join the list.

There has been a constant churn on the bottom end of my ballot this season, reflective of the parity that exists in teams in that 18-40 range.

I suspect that will continue and in the end, it will all work itself out.

Here is my ballot for this week's AP poll, which is scheduled to be released early this afternoon:

1. Alabama

2. Miami (Fla.)

3. Wisconsin

4. Clemson

5. Oklahoma

6. Ohio State

7. Auburn

8. Georgia

9. Penn State

10. Oklahoma State

11. Notre Dame

12. Central Florida

13. USC

14. Washington State

15. Washington

16. TCU

17. Memphis

18. West Virginia

19. Stanford

20. Michigan State

21. Michigan

22. South Florida

23. Mississippi State

24. North Carolina State

25. Army