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Josh Furlong's AP Top 25 ballot: Texas falls to LSU but gains in the rankings

By Josh Furlong, | Posted - Sep 8th, 2019 @ 10:01am

SALT LAKE CITY — What a crazy week of football.

We saw some unpredictable finishes, come-from-behind wins late in the game, including one that finished early Sunday, and Michigan fumble the ball more times than we could count. Oh, and then there was the freshman phenom at USC putting on a show in his debut as QB1 for the Trojans.

Despite the craziness, the majority of the teams in my Top 25 ballot escaped the weekend unscathed, though there were some unexpected casualties. The top of my ballot remains unchanged, but I have a lot more questions than answers for those outside the Top 10 (maybe even the Top 6 if I’m being truly honest).

I didn’t make wholesale changes to my ballot this week, but a shakeup may be on the horizon, particularly when teams start getting into conference play and the FCS-blowout games become less of the norm. Nevertheless, here are a few thoughts on my ballot for the week.

As always, hit me up on Twitter (@JFurKSL) if you have questions about my ballot.

My methodology: Each week I compare my ballot with that of the consensus Top 25 poll, and factor in game results, team and opponent efficiencies, and metrics such as SP+ to form my weekly ballot.

Rising: Maryland, Texas, USC, Virginia

Yes, the Longhorns lost, but they showed they’re worthy of being one of the top teams in the country after going toe-to-toe with LSU. And truthfully, if not for a narrowly-missed recovery on the final on-side attempt, Texas may have even tied up the game as time expired. The Longhorns are proving they’re back and they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Falling: Michigan, Nebraska, Stanford, Syracuse, Washington

Where to start? Is it the four fumbles by Michigan and the nail-biting win in double overtime against Army on a strip sack, or the absolute beat down by Maryland at home against Syracuse? Or is it the wild finish in Boulder, Colorado, as Nebraska saw its expected win crumble within seconds? College football got interesting in Week 2 of play, that’s for sure.

And then there's this game: After a two hour rain delay, Cal made a field goal in the final seconds of the game to steal a win away from Washington for the second consecutive year.

Added: Maryland, USC, Virginia

Maryland and USC are the biggest surprises of Week 2 action. Both programs dismantled previously-ranked programs and look worthy of climbing the rankings. Maryland averaged 71 points over the last two games. It doesn’t matter if you’re an FCS opponent or arguably the second best program in the ACC, they’ll win big.

And then there’s USC, that looks like a completely different team with quarterback Kedon Slovis under center. The backup-turned-starting freshman torched Stanford for 377 yards and three touchdowns on 28-of-33 passing. Maybe USC now has what it takes to save Clay Helton’s job.

Dropped Out: Nebraska, Stanford, Syracuse

Teams in consideration: Iowa State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, TCU

If you can't see the poll below, click here.

Josh Furlong

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