Tom Murphy explains top 25 ballot for Sept. 24

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Alabama head coach Nick Saban congratulates wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) after Jeudy scored a touchdown against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban congratulates wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) after Jeudy scored a touchdown against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Hello, Alabama. Just when we thought Vanderbilt could entice the Tide into a defensive slugfest, 59-0 happens.

I didn't rank the Commodores last week, but I was willing to do it this week with a respectable loss to Alabama. Moot point now.

I've got a little shuffling in the top five. Clemson traded places with Oklahoma to reach No. 2 after the Sooners gave up 41 points to Baylor. It amounts to changing jersey colors in a Clemson-OU matchup in a mythical playoff at this point. Also, I traded places with Southern Cal and Penn State after the Nittany Lions' close escape at Iowa in a fantastic finish. So the Trojans would now take on Alabama as the last team in the playoff.

More from WholeHogSports

This week's top 25

I thought Florida State would compete well without Deondre Francois, but with a home loss to North Carolina State after a long layoff, the Seminoles fall all the way out.

The big movers for me are the teams who won top 25 battles. Georgia goes from No. 13 to No. 9 after bludgeoning Mississippi State 31-3 and the Starkville-based Dogs fall six spots to No. 18.

TCU's 44-31 win at Oklahoma State merited a jump of four places to No. 11, while the Cowboys fall seven spots to No. 15.

In the Group of 5 battle for a spot in the New Year's Six bowls, I edged South Florida past San Diego State by one position after the Bulls walloped Temple and the Aztecs hung on 28-24 at Air Force.

New entrants this week are unbeaten Utah, Central Florida and Duke at Nos. 21, 24 and 25, respectively, and once-beaten West Virginia at No. 23.

I just don't know what to make of Florida, which inched ahead one spot to No. 22 after another dramatic win, this time over luckless Kentucky.

Maryland fell out after its decisive defeat at the hands of UCF. Also out: LSU and Memphis despite victories. LSU's 34-point loss at Mississippi State was devalued further by the Bulldogs' braining in Athens, Ga., and the Tigers weren't exactly impressive in beating Syracuse. Memphis is good, but its victory over UCLA looms not as impressive one week later. Those two teams are my first two out and have a chance to re-enter as the season moves along.

Tom Murphy's Top 25

1 Alabama

2 Clemson

3 Oklahoma

4 Southern Cal

5 Penn State

6 Washington

7 Michigan

8 Ohio State

9 Georgia

10 Wisconsin

11 TCU

12 Virginia Tech

13 Miami

14 Auburn

15 Oklahoma State

16 Washington State

17 Louisville

18 Mississippi State

19 South Florida

20 San Diego State

21 Utah

22 Florida

23 West Virginia

24 Central Florida

25 Duke

Dropped out: Florida State, Maryland, LSU, Memphis

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.