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Monday, September 18, 2006
Problem at polls: Top 25 redone because of bad ballot

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Boston College moved into sole position of the No. 20 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 on Monday, after the poll was recalculated to fix a mistaken ballot.

One Man's Top Five
College Football News writer Pete Fiutak doesn't think Ohio State is the nation's top-ranked team. He prefers USC ahead of the Buckeyes, and then SEC powers Auburn, LSU and Florida to round out his top five.

To listen to all of Fiutak's comments, click here. Insider • Associated Press Top 25
• USA Today Coaches Top 25

The revised poll breaks a 20th-place tie between Boston College and Arizona State, dropping the Sun Devils into the No. 22 ranking behind California.

Poll voter Ken Tysiac of The Charlotte Observer said he mistakenly sent his Sept. 10 poll ballot, rather than his Sept. 17 ballot, to The AP on Sunday.

"I cut and pasted the wrong file, the previous week's file, into the e-mail that I sent to the AP," Tysiac said Monday, shortly after submitting the correct ballot.

Even though the only change was in the order of the Nos. 20, 21 and 22 teams, AP sports editor Terry R. Taylor said the poll was recalculated to maintain its integrity.

"While we normally do not allow votes to be changed, it was clear in this case that an outdated ballot had been inadvertently submitted and we simply allowed the correct ballot to be substituted," she said.

Tysiac said Observer readers caught his mistake after the paper published his ballot, as it does each Monday during college football season. He said several readers e-mailed to ask why he had Notre Dame ranked ahead of Michigan, despite the Wolverines' 47-21 victory at South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.

"So I went back and checked the record of what I sent," he said. "That's when I realized, 'Oh, crud … '"

It is the first time in memory that The AP has re-issued a college football or college basketball poll to correct such a mistake.

Retabulating the poll with Tysiac's intended ballot broke a 20th place tie between Boston College and Arizona State, who each had 384 points in the original poll. Boston College now has 393 points, while Cal has 386 points (up from 383) and Arizona State remains at 384 points.

Cal and Arizona State won't remain so closely bunched for long. The Golden Bears host the Sun Devils this Saturday.