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SALT LAKE CITY — If you can't get excited about what transpired this weekend in college football, are you even a fan?
The final week of the regular season was one to remember as the traditional favorites in several rivalries flipped to the other team, starting with Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan team finally getting a win over Ohio State and ending with Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State team knocking off Oklahoma.
Phew! We need another weekend just to recover from this great weekend of games.
Here's a look at where I slated teams for my Associated Press AP Top 25 ballot ahead of conference championship week:
- As the world burns around it, Georgia sits quietly by as it waits for a worthy challenger. The Bulldogs are the undisputed No. 1 and have almost become an after thought to the sport with how good they've been. Alabama may give them a test, but it's looking more like that may not be the case.
- Hello Michigan! This is a reactionary pick, for sure, but the Wolverines have played great football this season. Harbaugh has finally gotten the monkey off his back and his team looks like a worthy No. 2 pick in my book. They beat a talented Ohio State team that reverted back to how they played against Oregon after a dominant performance last week. And yes, I dropped Ohio State to No. 7 — a bit of a free fall, but it's the nature of the teams around them.
- Cincinnati continues to do wonders on the field, but when I look at the Bearcats and the Wolverines, I'm tempted to believe that Michigan is slightly better — slightly! I look forward to seeing Cincinnati compete in the playoff this year — barring the committee cancelling the playoff to avoid a Group of Five team from getting in. But Cincy should be proud of its season and its positioning in the rankings.
- Oh Alabama, I just don't know any more. Quite honestly, I don't love that I have the Crimson Tide at No. 4 in my ballot. But despite all reason and Auburn blowing an opportunity to execute their perfect 2-point conversion play in the first overtime period, Alabama found a way to win. We'll know more this next week, but for now I'm willing to give Nick Saban the benefit of the doubt — he's done enough at Alabama to get that right. It still doesn't mean I'm happy about it!
- Oklahoma State needed some last-minute heroics and some luck — or dare I say bedlam — to overcome perennial favorite Oklahoma. The Cowboys always find a way to lose against its rival, but Gundy and his squad stayed strong and got it done. It was closer than they'd like, but I think Oklahoma State is and has been one of the best teams in the country this season. If they play their cards right and the sea parts ahead of them, they have an outside shot at the playoff. I have them at No. 6 this week.
- Lane Kiffin doesn't care what you think of his team, but he still has Ole Miss going places. And for my ballot, I have them moving up to No. 9 after an Egg Bowl win. Nothing to overthink here.
- Oregon proved it still has some fight in them and worth taking serious. The Ducks took care of business against a surging rival ready to disrupt Oregon's Pac-12 Championship chances. Oregon moves up to No. 11 in my ballot as the team prepares for a rematch against the Utes in Las Vegas. It should be a fun one with a Rose Bowl on the line.
- San Diego State has been a bit overshadowed this season despite an 11-1 record. Brady Hoke's team hasn't always looked the best but they continue to find a way to win in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs put to rest a Boise State team that has started to come alive as of late. There's still questions about how good the team really is, but for now I've moved them up to No. 18 in my ballot. And the team has one more shot to prove its dominance with a conference title win over a Utah State team nobody expected to be in the championship game.
- What happened UTSA and Wisconsin? See ya next year?
- A 21-16 win over UL Monroe wasn't exactly convincing for Louisiana, but an 11-1 record holds some value. I have Louisiana at No. 25, though you could put several teams here. So celebrate the little wins when you get them.
Dropping out: UTSA, Wisconsin
Checking in: Arkansas, Louisiana
In consideration: Air Force, Appalachian State, Army, Coastal Carolina, Fresno State, Minnesota, Utah State
If you can't see the poll below, click here.