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My AP Ballot: Awaiting LSU-'Bama, Clemson, K-State leave top 10

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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ATLANTA -- Six more days and I will finally have a new No. 1 and/or No. 2 team. But for one more week, it's still LSU and Alabama on top of my Associated Press ballot.

Clemson and Kansas State, which lost for the first time this season, fell out of the top 10. Dropping completely off my ballot were Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Newcomers this week are Ohio State and Auburn.

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The next two weeks should see plenty of shuffling near the top of my ballot with LSU at Alabama playing in this week's Game of the Century and then the following week Oregon visiting Stanford.

Here is my AP ballot for this week. Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. LSU (1): The Tigers (8-0) already have scored at least 40 points five times this season. The last time LSU scored at least 40 points in five or more regular-season games was 2007, the year the Tigers won the BCS title. Next: at Alabama, Saturday.

2. Alabama (2): Alabama (8-0) allowed only a pair of field goals to Tennessee, marking the 24th time in their past 41 games the Crimson Tide has limited an opponent to 10 points or less. Next: vs. LSU, Saturday.

3. Oklahoma State (3): How 'bout them Cowboys: Oklahoma State (8-0) is off to its best start since World War II ... when the school was called Oklahoma A&M. OSU is two wins from being 10-0 for the first time in school history. Next: vs. Kansas State, Saturday.

4. Stanford (4): Is this a chink in the armor for the 8-0 Cardinal? After only allowing 357 yards rushing in its first six games, Stanford has allowed 320 the past two weeks against Washington and USC. Still, Stanford has managed to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games. Next: at Oregon State, Saturday.

5. Boise State (6): Boise State travels to Las Vegas on Saturday, and I wouldn't bet against senior QB Kellen Moore becoming the winningest starting quarterback in NCAA FBS history. Moore and Texas' Colt McCoy are tied with 44 victories. Boise State (7-0) faces a UNLV team that has allowed at least 35 points six times. Next: at UNLV, Saturday.

6. Oregon (7): Oregon (7-1) has topped 40 points in seven consecutive games and scored at least 40 in 16 of their past 20, failing do so only against Pac-12 foes Cal and Oregon State (in 2010) and SEC opponents Auburn (2010) and LSU (2011). Next: at Washington, Saturday.

7. Arkansas (9): The Razorbacks (7-1) have overcome three double-digit deficits in beating Texas A&M (trailed by 18), Ole Miss (trailed by 17) and Vanderbilt (trailed by 14). Next: vs. South Carolina, Saturday.

8. Oklahoma (11): The Sooners (7-1) have scored at least 50 points in three games. That's the most games Oklahoma has exceeded 50 in a single season since the 2008 team did so nine times on its way to reaching the BCS title game. Next: vs. Texas A&M, Saturday.

9. Nebraska (14): The Cornhuskers (7-1) held Michigan State to only three points, marking the 14th time in Nebraska's past 36 games it has limited an opponent to 10 or fewer. Next: vs. Northwestern, Saturday.

10. South Carolina (13): The Gamecocks (7-1) have scored 14 points in consecutive wins at Mississippi State and South Carolina. The last time South Carolina scored 14 or fewer points in consecutive games was a three-game stretch in 2009 vs. Alabama (6 points), Vanderbilt (14) and Tennessee (13). Next: at Arkansas, Saturday.

11. Clemson (5): In rolling to an 8-0 start, Clemson had committed only eight turnovers on 626 offensive plays (one every 78.5). Against Georgia Tech, the Tigers (8-1) had four turnovers on 65 offensive plays (one every 16.2). Next: vs. Wake Forest, Nov. 12.

12. Kansas State (8): Kansas State's perfect season came to a halt in Saturday’s 58-17 loss to Oklahoma. It was the most points allowed at home by Kansas State (7-1) since it surrendered 58 to Oklahoma in 2008. Next: at Oklahoma State, Saturday.

13. Houston (19): Houston (8-0) scored 73 points in Thursday's rout of Rice 73-34 -- one more point that Rice's basketball team scored against Houston last season in a 72-57 victory. Cougars QB Case Keenum, the NCAA's all-time leader in total offense and TD passes, is only 269 yards from breaking Hawaii QB Timmy Chang's NCAA career passing yardage record (17,072). Next: vs. Rice, Thursday.

14. Michigan State (10): The Spartans (6-2) fell to 0-6 all-time against Nebraska. Michigan State has come no closer than 14 points, and its average margin of defeat vs. the Cornhuskers is a whopping 28 points. Next: vs. Minnesota, Saturday.

15. Wisconsin (12): After allowing 58 points in its first six games (all victories), Wisconsin (6-2) has allowed 70 points in losing its past two games to Michigan State and Ohio State. Next: vs. Purdue, Saturday.

16. Michigan (17): Michigan QB Denard Robinson already has thrown 11 interceptions -- the same number he threw all of last season for the Wolverines (7-1). Next: at Iowa, Saturday.

17. Georgia (20): Don't look now but the Bulldogs (6-2) have won six consecutive games, matching last year's win total (6-7). The six-game winning streak is the longest under coach Mark Richt in one season since 2007. Next: vs. New Mexico State, Saturday.

18. Virginia Tech (18): Virginia Tech (8-1) managed only 14 points against Duke. It was the fewest points Duke had allowed in a loss since a 14-3 loss to Virginia Tech in 2008. Next: at Georgia Tech, Nov. 10.

19. Arizona State (21): The Sun Devils (6-2) are only 5-14 in their past 19 road games. Saturday they visit UCLA, where they haven't won since 2007. Next: at UCLA, Saturday.

20. Washington (24): Huskies RB Chris Polk scored five TDs and became the first player in Washington history with 100 yards rushing and receiving in a game as the Huskies (6-2) outlasted Arizona. Next: vs. Oregon, Saturday.

21. Penn State (23): The Nittany Lions (8-1) clinched at least another eight-win season under coach Joe Paterno for the 35th time in his 46. Next: vs. Nebraska, Saturday.

22. Southern California (22): The Trojans (6-2) have allowed more than 40 points already three times this season after allowing more than 40 only three times in the previous 65 games. Next: at Colorado, Friday.

23. Ohio State (NR): The Buckeyes (5-3) limited Wisconsin to a season-low 342 yards, 101 fewer than the Badgers' previous low this season at Michigan State. Next: vs. Indiana, Saturday.

24. Cincinnati (25): The Bearcats (6-1) are the only team unbeaten in Big East play. Cincinnati went 1-4 last season against its final five opponents this season -- Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn. Next: at Pittsburgh, Saturday.

25. Auburn (NR): The three teams Auburn (6-3) has lost to -- Clemson, Arkansas and LSU -- are a combined 23-2. Next: at Georgia, Nov. 12.

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