Highlights from the penultimate ballot of the regular season …
*** The top three remained unchanged, with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame all holding place after rivalry game victories.
Michigan was removed from the No. 4 spot following the blowout loss to Ohio State. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, jumped three positions, to No. 5.
They remain behind Georgia, in addition to the top three noted above.
*** I slotted the Buckeyes ahead of Oklahoma based on the quality of the win over the Wolverines, which offsets the Sooners’ advantages in other data points.
(That narrow early-season victory over Army now must be considered a quality non-conference win for OU’s resume. The Black Knights are 9-2.)
*** Washington has been a tad higher on my ballot than in the overall AP poll for several weeks, and I expect that situation again today.
The Huskies are slotted 11th, an upward move of three positions, following the Apple Cup win.
Washington State is 13th, a four-spot drop.
3. Notre Dame
5. Ohio State
12. Penn State
13. Washington State
15. West Virginia
17. Iowa State
18. Mississippi State
20. Texas A&M
22. Boise State
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