College Hotline: My Final AP Top 25 Ballot (Alabama Is No. 1 … Ha! Just Making Sure You Were Reading)

The post-bowl ballots are always difficult: How much weight do you assign the bowl result relative to the totality of the previous 12 or 13 games?

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There’s no easy answer and certainly no correct one.

An example of the difficulty is the scenario we just experienced: The Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 teams on my end-of-regular-season ballot all lost their bowl games. (I had Clemson in the 3-hole.)

You can’t automatically drop five of your top six teams below a group that won bowls games, because then you are, in fact, discounting the regular season to an excessive degree.

I went on a case-by-case basis, slotting Clemson on top, of course, followed by Alabama, of course.

Then I went with Washington over Ohio State for the No. 3 spot because the Huskies were more competitive in their bowl game — in that they were actually competitive, unlike OSU.

I moved USC into the No. 5 position after it beat Penn State and Florida State into the No. 6 spot after it beat Michigan.

(What a postseason for the ACC, by the way.)

The Trojans are a terrific test case for ballot preference: The were one of the hottest teams in the country down the stretch and beat the B1G champs in the Rose, but they also lost three games in September..

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College Hotline: My final AP top-25 ballot (Alabama is No. 1 … Ha! Just making sure you were reading)
My AP preseason top-25 ballot: Ohio State is No. 1
What kind shot does Georgia Tech have at making the top 25?
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