Big Ten: rankings

How we voted in's Top 25

October, 1, 2012
Neither Adam nor I vote in the Associated Press poll, but we do have a say in's weekly national Power Rankings. Here's what we said this week:

Adam's ballot

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Georgia
5. LSU
6. West Virginia
7. Kansas State
8. Florida
9. South Carolina
10. Notre Dame
11. Texas
12. Ohio State
13. Oregon State
14. USC
15. Clemson
16. TCU
17. Louisville
18. Stanford
19. Oklahoma
20. Mississippi State
21. Rutgers
22. Nebraska
23. UCLA
24. Northwestern
25. Baylor

Brian's ballot

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Georgia
5. LSU
6. Notre Dame
7. Kansas State
8. West Virginia
9. South Carolina
10. Florida
11. Texas
12. USC
13. Ohio State
14. TCU
15. Clemson
16. Oklahoma
17. Oregon State
18. Mississippi State
19. Louisville
20. UCLA
21. Nebraska
22. Northwestern
23. Stanford
24. Rutgers
25. Cincinnati

Our top 5s are identical. Adam then goes with West Virginia, while I have Notre Dame. A clear case of offense versus defense there. Our placement of the three Big Ten teams is also pretty close. I moved Nebraska ahead of Northwestern this week because of the Huskers' win over Wisconsin, which I feel is better than anything the 5-0 Wildcats have done yet this year.

Here's where rankings get tricky, though. Adam has Nebraska ahead of UCLA, even though the Bruins beat the Huskers. And UCLA's lone loss was to Oregon State, which beat Wisconsin by the same margin -- three points -- as Nebraska did. And yet Oregon State is ranked No. 13 by Adam. So it's a tough call. The AP voters have Nebraska four spots ahead of UCLA, which must make Bruins fans crazy. But it's hard to do the "this team beat that team, so it can't be ranked behind the team it beat" logic after a certain point. For example, I have Stanford 11 spots behind USC, even though the Cardinal beat the Trojans. Fair? Probably not, and I felt bad doing it. But you have to drop Stanford for losing to Washington, and should USC also fall because of that?

It's not easy. Feel free to criticize, but you'd better be ready to give your own Top 25 before doing so.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

After going 3-9 last season, Michigan needed only two weeks to return to the national rankings.

The Wolverines come in at No. 25 in this week's AP poll after upsetting No. 18 Notre Dame on Saturday at the Big House. Michigan is back in the poll for the first time since the end of the 2007 season, when it knocked off Florida in the Capital One Bowl.

Penn State moved up two spots to No. 5, where it's tied with Mississippi. Both the Lions and Rebels are well back of the top four teams in voting.

Ohio State dropped three spots to No. 11 after its 18-15 loss to USC, which held at No. 3. Interesting to think where the Buckeyes would have ended up had they held on for the win (No. 4?).

Both Iowa and Minnesota received votes in the poll.