Tom Murphy's Top 25 ballot explained

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2018
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Grant Calcaterra at the end of the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against Texas on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Grant Calcaterra at the end of the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against Texas on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Obviously the biggest issue for this set of rankings was selecting the No. 4 team.

My soul tells me that Georgia was one of the top four teams in the country. My head tells me the Bulldogs lost by 20 points at LSU and that has to be calculated, and that’s why I put Oklahoma at No. 4 behind the undefeated conference champions Alabama and Clemson, along with 12-0 Notre Dame.

Additionally, I could not see the College Football Playoff selection committee taking Georgia into the four-team playoff field as a two-loss team over once-beaten conference champions, despite the fact the Bulldogs looked like the better team for most of Saturday’s 35-28 loss to Alabama for the SEC title. It would have opened up a can of issues that would have created great loads of bickering.

My AP ballot was due before the release of the CFP rankings, and I also slotted Georgia between Oklahoma and Ohio State. The Buckeyes just had too many erratic performances, despite their dominating win over Michigan, plus the big loss at Purdue.

Props to Central Florida for rallying from well behind Memphis twice to win the American. The Knights are No. 7 for me.

I thought Michigan was a solid No. 8 with its only losses to teams ranked ahead of them. Sorting out the next four spots was difficult, but I went with Pac 12 champion Washington at No. 9, followed by LSU, Washington State and Florida.

My top four-loss team is Texas, one notch ahead of Mississippi State.

1 Alabama

2 Clemson

3 Notre Dame

4 Oklahoma

5 Georgia

6 Ohio State

7 UCF

8 Michigan

9 Washington

10 LSU

11 Washington State

12 Florida

13 Kentucky

14 Penn State

15 Texas

16 Mississippi State

17 West Virginia

18 Syracuse

19 Texas A&M

20 Utah

21 Fresno State

22 North Carolina State

23 Missouri

24 Army

25 Boise State

Discussion

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