Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018
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David Briggs

Is Ohio State the Tide's top challenger? Breaking down Briggs' AP vote

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    Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins had success running and passing vs. Rutgers.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A few quick thoughts from my latest ballot in the Associated Press college football poll:

Rutgers-Ohio-St-Football-4

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins had success running and passing vs. Rutgers.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

■ I briefly considered moving Ohio State past second-ranked Clemson, which labored to a 28-26 win over an ordinary Texas A&M team. OK, very briefly. While the Buckeyes appear the clear class of the Big Ten, let’s see them play someone other than the Corvallis Cream Puff Institute of the Piscataway Pastry Academy before going full gaga over the offense. If Dwayne Haskins picks apart TCU on Saturday, then we can start talking about Ohio State as Alabama’s top challenger.

■ Nobody will take Michigan seriously as a Big Ten contender until it delivers when it matters. Nor should they. I have the Wolverines 20th. Still, credit them for handling Western Michigan as it should in a 49-3 win. To watch Shea Patterson sling it is to appreciate Michigan is not truly out of any conversation.

■ Note to the young men of the Big Ten and Michigan State: Quit going west. The Spartans’ 16-13 loss at Arizona State marked their 13th straight regular-season defeat west of Colorado and dropped the Big Ten to 0-10 against the Sun Devils in Tempe. It also made Michigan State the biggest Week 2 plunger on my ballot, falling from 12th to 25th.

The biggest riser? Stanford. I had the Cardinal jumping seven spots to eighth after cruising to a 17-3 win over Southern California — the statement win of the week.

Now, without further ado, my little-anticipated full Week 2 ballot: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. Georgia, 5. Wisconsin, 6. Notre Dame, 7. Auburn, 8. Stanford, 9. Oklahoma, 10. LSU, 11. Penn State, 12. Virginia Tech, 13. Washington, 14. West Virginia, 15. TCU, 16. Central Florida, 17. Boise State, 18. Mississippi State, 19. Southern California, 20. Michigan, 21. Miami, 22. Oklahoma State, 23. Kentucky, 24. Arizona State, 25. Michigan State.

Contact David Briggs at dbriggs@theblade.com419-724-6084, or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.

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