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Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL

Josh Furlong's AP Top 25 ballot: Maryland, USC disappoint after only 1 week in Top 25

By Josh Furlong, | Posted - Sep. 15, 2019 at 10:01 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — With only a few scares over the weekend, most of the Top 25 took care of business in Week 3 of play.

The week didn’t feature any ranked teams going up against each other, but there was still chaos to be had, including Maryland and USC spending only one week in the Top 25 after dropping their third game of the season. For most everyone else, it was adding another W to the season record.

Last week, I said I would consider making some wholesale changes, but I kept things fairly consistent. I did make some corrections and have shifted a few teams around.

But until there are bigger matchups, my ballot remains relatively untouched.

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: Boise State, Notre Dame

Admittedly, I was really harsh on Notre Dame after their first game of the season, which was unfair. They proved in Week 3 (their second game of the season) they’re better than what I previously saw. Sure, they played New Mexico, but they took care of business and routed the Lobos. Quarterback Ian Book threw for five touchdowns and gave me back some faith in the Fighting Irish.

Falling: Florida, Maryland, Michigan State, USC

The most disappointing team for me in the Top 25 this week was Maryland. After putting up gaudy numbers in the first two weeks of play, Maryland seemed well on their way to making some noise in the Big Ten.

And then the Temple game happened.

Temple is a decent team, but Maryland had no business losing the way they did. But hey, they at least got the safety dance.

Florida dropped in my poll because I don’t think they’re worthy of a Top 10 ranking so far. I was skeptical after their game against Miami in Week 1, and after their performance against Kentucky on Saturday (despite the Gators getting the win), I’m still left with questions. They may still climb their way back up later in the season, but for now, Florida is on the outside looking in on my ballot.

Added: Memphis, Oklahoma State

I’ve long been a fan of Oklahoma State this season; I’ve just been waiting for an opportunity to put them in the Top 25. This week feels like a good week to do that after they took care of business against Tulsa on the road. The Cowboys have some playmakers and could shake up the Big 12 … or disappoint me like Maryland.

Dropped: Maryland, USC

Maybe more indicative of the USC loss is how bad Stanford was in Week 3. The Cardinal got wiped off the field against UCF and took away USC’s Week 2 quality win. It then didn’t help that the Trojans went on to lose to BYU a week later. Head coach Clay Helton was already on thin ice, but I can’t imagine a loss to BYU will help cool the seat underneath Helton.

Teams in consideration: Arizona State, BYU, California, Kansas State, TCU

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

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

Josh Furlong

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