Matt Stevens Top 25 Ballot: We Have A New Number One 

IlliniGuys.com football beat writer/analyst Matt Stevens does not have an Associated Press Top 25 ballot this season but if he did, this is how he'd fill it out.

October 10, 2021

(Photo courtesy Athens Online)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- After what happened deep in the heart of Texas Saturday night, we approach living in a world with a new team atop the mountain in college football.

Everybody say hi to the Georgia Bulldogs and head coach Kirby Smart, who will likely lead this program to its first No. 1 ranking in both polls for the first time since 2008. Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings for a week in 2017 before losing in blowout fashion the following week at Auburn.

And now the question becomes what to do with Alabama? I decided on fifth because the loss to a Texas A&M team who has barely survived at Colorado while also losing to Mississippi State and Arkansas in the previous two weeks should have ramifications. However, I do think Iowa, Cincinnati or Oklahoma is a better football team than Alabama. Those three schools are just having better seasons than Alabama. Also, the win by Texas A&M explodes the Aggies (4-2, 1-2 in SEC) up the rankings to No. 18 and while I fear I’m being reactive, I just can’t ignore that kind of resume win for a program that desperately needed something good to happen.

The Kentucky at Georgia next weekend on CBS is going to answer a lot of questions because it will either end the idea that the Wildcats are being disrespected as an undefeated team or it will make them have a legitimate case for a No. 1 ranking because an upset will give them an inside track to its first SEC Championship Game appearance with wins over Florida and Georgia.

I also have to recognize that Wake Forest, for a team that is 6-0 right now, is probably ranked too low and head coach Dave Clawson has done a remarkable job remaking this program but there’s a reality that the Demon Deacons could go through the entire regular season and possibly a ACC Championship Game undefeated without having faced a single ranked opponent.

Without further ado, here are my rankings for Oct. 10….

  1. Georgia (6-0)
  2. Iowa (6-0)
  3. Cincinnati (5-0)
  4. Oklahoma (6-0)
  5. Alabama (5-1)
  6. Oregon (5-1)
  7. Ohio State (5-1)
  8. Kentucky (6-0)
  9. Michigan (6-0)
  10. Michigan State (6-0)
  11. Oklahoma State (6-0)
  12. Penn State (5-1)
  13. Coastal Carolina (6-0)
  14. Notre Dame (5-1)
  15. Ole Miss (4-1)
  16. Arkansas (4-2)
  17. Wake Forest (6-0)
  18. Texas A&M (4-2)
  19. Arizona State (5-1)
  20. BYU (5-1)
  21. Auburn (4-2)
  22. North Carolina State (4-1)
  23. Baylor (5-1)
  24. Florida (4-2)
  25. San Diego State (5-0)

 

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