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Ethan Joyce's Week 2 Ballot in the AP Top 25
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Ethan Joyce's Week 2 Ballot in the AP Top 25

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Welcome back to my Associated Press Top 25 ballot.

I have a few thoughts instead of one main point like last week. So let’s take off from there.

Appalachian State nearly proved my rankings right on Saturday. I put the Mountaineers No. 25 last week, and I was the only AP voter to do so. Nearly beating a talented Miami team — the Hurricanes won, 25-23 — says a good amount to me. Especially when you consider App State wasn’t at its sharpest in spots of that game.

They’ll be in the top 25 again. And I still think they’re a top-25 team. I think that’s reflected in Miami moving up after the victory.

A good amount of moving and shaking happened near the bottom of my top five. That’s what happens when two teams pull out victories against top 25 opponents.

Oregon beating former No. 3 Ohio State, and Iowa doing the same to No. 9 Iowa State, jettisons both into big-dog territory. It also led to the small slide of Oklahoma. The Sooners are talented, and I let the season opener against Tulane (where the Green Wave had late life in the fourth quarter) slide. But I’m not going to be impressed by the thumping of Western Carolina when some others teams put together early signature wins. Can’t help your schedule in the moment, but the fact remains the same.

Side note off Oregon: I got to speak with Oregon coach Mario Cristobal during the offseason for my project on Hispanic/Latino coaches in Division I football. If you haven’t read that, by the way, I’d appreciate if you did.

After I asked him questions for my project, I asked about his team. I don’t recall his exact words, but I remember the sentiment: I think we can be really, really good.

Now, coaches say that all the time in the preseason. But I thought about that Saturday as they secured the victory against the Buckeyes.

As a first-time top 25 voter, it seems easy to lean on legacy programs. Mainly because there’s a feeling of safety. Like no reader will get too angry about it.

Southern Cal and Texas reminded me this week why I shouldn’t do that. Most voters had them in that 10 to 20 range, just like myself. I’ll be more skeptical in preseasons going forward.

That was a huge win for Arkansas, though, which might have one of the nation’s most likeable coaches, Sam Pittman. There’s a lot of joy in that man’s heart.

So as you read my ballot, in the spirit of Pittman’s locker room victory cry, “Turn that damn jukebox on.”

Ethan Joyce’s Week 2 ballot in the AP Top 25

1. Alabama

Last result: Win, 48-14 vs. Mercer

Last ranking: 1

2. Georgia

Last result: Win, 56-7 vs. UAB

Last ranking: 2

3. Oregon

Last result: Win, 35-28 vs. No. 3 Ohio State

Last ranking: 9

4. Iowa

Last result: Win, 27-17 vs. No. 9 Iowa State

Last ranking: 10

5. Oklahoma

Last result: Win, 76-0 vs. Western Carolina

Last ranking: 4

6. Cincinnati

Last result: Win, 42-7 vs. Murray State

Last ranking: 7

7. Texas A&M

Last result: Win, 10-7 vs. Colorado

Last ranking: 5

8. Clemson

Last result: Win, 49-3 vs. S.C. State

Last ranking: 6

9. Ohio State

Last result: Loss, 35-28 vs. No. 12 Oregon

Last ranking: 3

10. Florida

Last result: Win, 42-20 vs. South Florida

Last ranking: 13

11. Penn State

Last result: Win, 44-13 vs. Ball State

Last ranking: 11

12. Iowa State

Last result: Loss, 27-17 to No. 10 Iowa

Last ranking: 9

13. Notre Dame

Last result: Win, 32-29 vs. Toledo

Last ranking: 8

14. Coastal Carolina

Last result: Win, 49-22 vs. Kansas

Last ranking: 17

15. Arizona State

Last result: Win, 37-10 vs. UNLV

Last ranking: 23

16. Miami

Last result: Win, 25-23 vs. App State

Last ranking: 22

17. Ole Miss

Last result: Win, 54-17 vs. Austin Peay

Last ranking: 20

18. Wisconsin

Last result: Win, 34-7 vs. Eastern Michigan

Last ranking: 18

19. Virginia Tech

Last result: Win, 35-14 vs. Middle Tennessee

Last ranking: 19

20. UCLA

Last result: OFF

Last ranking: 21

21. Arkansas

Last result: Win, 40-21 vs. No. 15 Texas

Last ranking: NR

22. BYU

Last result: Win, 26-17 vs. No. 21 Utah

Last ranking: NR

23. UCF

Last result: Win, 63-14 vs. Bethune-Cookman

Last ranking: NR

24. TCU

Last result: Win, 34-32 vs. Cal

Last ranking: NR

25. Auburn

Last result: Win, 62-0 vs. Alabama State

Last ranking: NR

336-727-7165

@ByEthanJoyce

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