My AP Ballot: This week, a combination of dollars and sense

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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AUBURN, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban said when he turns in his final ballot for the coaches poll next week, he will have his Crimson Tide ranked No. 2.

And that's exactly where I've got Alabama on my Associated Press ballot this week. The Crimson Tide remain at No. 2 this week following their win at Auburn. LSU, of course, stays at No. 1.

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Arkansas (10-2), which I ranked No. 3 on my ballot last week, drops to No. 7 behind Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford and Boise State.

The bottom of my ballot is drastically different. Dropping out of my Top 25 this week: Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Tulsa and Rutgers. New to my ballot this week: Nebraska, Texas, Florida State, Louisville and West Virginia.

Here is my AP ballot. There is one more next week, and the final ballot will be conducted after the Jan. 9 BCS national title game. Last week's ranking in parenthesis.

Included with each team is how much its coach makes, based on salary figures from USA Today.

1. LSU (1)
Coach Les Miles $3.86 million, second highest in the SEC. Next game: vs. Georgia, SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Saturday.

2. Alabama (2)
Coach Nick Saban $4.83 million, highest in the SEC. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

3. Oklahoma State (4)
Coach Mike Gundy $2.1 million, sixth highest in the Big 12. Next game: vs. Oklahoma, Saturday.

4. Oregon (5)
Coach Chip Kelly $2.8 million, highest in the Pac-12. Next game: vs. UCLA, Pac-12 Championship Game, Friday.

5. Stanford (6)
Coach David Shaw. Because Stanford is a private school, Shaw's salary is not available. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

6. Boise State (7)
Coach Chris Petersen $1.53 million, second highest in the Mountain West. Next game: vs. New Mexico, Saturday.

7. Arkansas (3)
Coach Bobby Petrino $3.64 million, third highest in SEC. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

8. Houston (8)
Coach Kevin Sumlin $1.2 million, third highest in Conference USA. Next game: vs. Southern Miss, Conference USA Championship Game, Saturday.

9. Michigan State (9)
Coach Mark Dantonio $1.92 million, fifth highest in the Big Ten. Next game: vs. Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, Saturday.

10. Southern California (10)
Coach Lane Kiffin. Because USC is a private school, Kiffin's salary is not available. Next game: Season over.

11. Wisconsin (11)
Coach Bret Bielema $2.6 million, fourth highest in the Big Ten. Next game: vs. Michigan State, Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, Saturday.

12. Georgia (15)
Coach Mark Richt $2.94 million, sixth highest in SEC. Next game: vs. LSU, SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Saturday.

13. South Carolina (12)
Coach Steve Spurrier $2.83 million, seventh highest in SEC. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

14. Virginia Tech (17)
Coach Frank Beamer $2.33 million, third highest in the ACC. Next game: vs. Clemson, ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday.

15. Oklahoma (13)
Coach Bob Stoops $4.08 million, second highest in the Big 12. Next game: at Oklahoma State, Saturday.

16. Kansas State (14)
Coach Bill Snyder $1.93 million, eighth highest in the Big 12. Next game: vs. Iowa State, Saturday.

17. Michigan (16)
Coach Brady Hoke $3.25 million, second highest in the Big Ten. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

18. Baylor (22)
Coach Art Briles $1.55 million, ninth highest in the Big 12. Next game: vs. Texas, Saturday.

19. TCU (19)
Coach Gary Patterson $2.02 million, highest in the Mountain West. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

20. Nebraska (NR)
Coach Bo Pelini $2.78 million, third highest in the Big Ten. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

21. Texas (NR)
Coach Mack Brown $5.19 million, highest in the Big 12 and the nation. Next game: at Baylor, Saturday.

22. Clemson (18)
Coach Dabo Swinney $1.85 million, seventh highest in the ACC. Next game: vs. Virginia Tech, ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday.

23. Florida State (NR)
Coach Jimbo Fisher $2.75 million, highest in the ACC. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

24. Louisville (NR)
Coach Charlie Strong $2.3 million, highest in the Big East. Next game: Bowl game, TBA.

25. West Virginia (NR)
Coach Dana Holgorsen $1.49 million, fifth highest in the Big East. Next game: at South Florida, Thursday.

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