Silver’s AP Ballot — Notre Dame rises

What a wild weekend in football. I expected one of the Oregon and Kansas State to go down in the next two weeks, but both going down in stunning ways on Saturday has put the nation upside down. It’s back to the hey day in South Bend as the Irish are a win away against USC next Saturday from heading to the BCS title game. I think the Irish would more than deserve that bid with wins over Michigan, Stanford and also Oklahoma on the road this season among others.  The Irish deserve to be No. 1. This isn’t the college football establishment elevating the Irish higher than they should be (which is known to happen).

Aside from that, the big mover for me is Stanford. I have underestimated them all year but a win over USC, overtime loss to Notre Dame then an OT win over Oregon — that’s a big-time team.  I still like Oregon, but I think Alabama is better and that’s why the Tide are No. 2.  It’s also worth noting I dropped Ohio State down despite the OT win. I just think with the probation that the Buckeyes are on, the state of the Big 10 this season, that an undefeated Ohio State team isn’t as impressive as what would normally be the case. The Buckeyes may be undefeated, but considering schedule and inability to play in a bowl game and beat a top tier team, I can’t put them in the top 5. The top 7 on my poll are title contenders in my book.  Florida State is hanging in the weeds, but the ACC strength of schedule is killing them. After Clemson, no other power team in the ACC.   I can’t stand the Big 12 and the inability for that conference to play defense. It skews all their stats. Baylor scores 52 over K State? Oklahoma wins 50-49 over West Virginia? Someone needs to teach that conference to play defense, or at least pay attention to it.

1. Notre Dame

2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. Georgia
5. Florida
6. Stanford
7. Kansas State
8. Ohio State
9. LSU
10. Texas AM
11. FLorida State
12. Clemson
13. South Carolina
14. Oklahoma
15. Nebraska
16. UCLA
17. Oregon State
18. Texas
19. Rutgers
20. Louisville
21. Michigan
22. Kent State
23. Northern Illinois
24. Boise State
25. Mississippi State

— John Silver