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Josh Furlong's AP Top 25: Chaos rules the weekend as Michigan takes big step forward


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BOULDER, Colo. — The final week of the regular season brought chaos to college football.

It was also rivalry week for a lot of teams around the country, which made the week even better. In total, nine teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 lost over the week, including four teams that lost to another ranked team.

Here's the ballot I submitted to the Associated Press that will be counted toward the official consensus poll released later today.

1. Georgia

The Bulldogs completed an undefeated season and remains my No. 1 team to beat, though it's not as firm as it once was given how well Michigan has been playing. Still, it's hard to knock Georgia off its post given its dominance this season.

2. Michigan

Weak early schedule or not, Jim Harbaugh has his team peaking at the right time. The Wolverines went into Columbus and silenced the pro-Ohio State crowd to claim back-to-back wins over their Big Ten rival. As mentioned above, I can see Michigan as a No. 1 team, but No. 2 will do just fine.

3. TCU

TCU heard the complaints about all its close games and decided to take it all out on Iowa State in a 62-14 win. The Horned Frogs finished the season undefeated and remain a fan favorite this season.

4. USC

Caleb Williams has likely locked up the Heisman Award, though USC's road is not finished just yet. Still, the Trojans are playing great football, especially on offense, and their defense continues to get takeaways. A Pac-12 championship game against Utah is all that stands in the way of USC for a playoff bid.

5. Ohio State

Yes, Ohio State was embarrassed at home by their bitter rival, but I still believe they're one of the best teams in the country. It's not the ending to the season Ryan Day wanted, but maybe another unwanted Rose Bowl will suffice for the second-straight season.

6. Alabama

Rival or not, Alabama wasn't going to let its final game be close. Bryce Young threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns as the Crimson Tide continue to inch up the rankings. Alabama remains one of the best teams in the country, and they're playing well, but past games continue to hold them back.

7. Penn State

It's the team that nobody talks about; and yet, they continue to rise in the rankings. Admittedly, there's a bit of a drop off in my rankings at this point, but Penn State deserves to move up. I'm still not convinced — maybe given the past few seasons — but the Nittany Lions continue to win.

8. Washington

Aside from it's porous defense, Washington has been — at times — one of the most dangerous teams in the Pac-12. The Huskies have a great quarterback in Michael Penix Jr. who can go toe-to-toe with nearly anybody with his air assault, but it's not always consistent.

9. LSU

With everything going right for LSU heading into this week, the Tigers decided the moment was too big. A loss to Texas A&M in the final week of the season isn't a great look at all. Brian Kelly remains a great coach and the Tigers remain a top-10 team, but they're not there yet.

10. Tennessee

In the first game without Hendon Hooker, Tennessee did just fine with a 56-0 win over Vanderbilt. There were some that believed Vandy could get the win, but Tennessee showed it still has a quality roster. Admittedly, I might have Tennessee too low, especially as one of my favorite teams to watch this season.

Checking in: NC State, UCF

Dropping out: Cincinnati, Ole Miss

In consideration: Texas, Illinois, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Mississippi State

If you can't see my full ballot below, click here.

Want to create your own Top 25 ballot, go create one with the KSL.com College Football Top 25 Fan Poll.

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Josh is the Sports Director for KSL.com and beat writer of University of Utah athletics — primarily football, men’s basketball and gymnastics. He is also an Associated Press Top 25 voter for college football.

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