Friday, Sep 21, 2018
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DAVID BRIGGS

Ballot breakdown: Ohio State, Michigan stand firm

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Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw against TCU during the first half of Saturday's game.

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Straight to it, a few quick thoughts from my latest ballot in the Associated Press college football poll:

■ For me, there are the top four teams — Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Georgia — and everyone else. Sure, there are other fine programs, including the surprise story of the season, LSU, which has a living, breathing quarterback (Joe Burrow) and wins over Miami and Auburn. But the talent monopolized by the Big Four is on a different plane. Give us those guys in a national title pool and we’ll gladly give you the field. A sport of superpowers remains the ultimate oligarchy.

■ The Buckeyes made the bigger statement — man, Dwayne Haskins looks good — but color us impressed by Texas Christian, which I kept at No. 15 for its effort in a hostile environment ... 18 miles from its Fort Worth campus. (Nothing screams the pageantry of college football like a neutral-site game in a $1.3 billion death star built across the street from a Walmart Supercenter.) In a game that was a couple TCU meltdowns away from a wire-to-wire thriller, its cranked-up, quick-hitting offensive game plan gave the bigger, faster, better Buckeyes all matter of fits.

■ My biggest Week 3 riser: Oklahoma State, up eight spots to No. 14 after smoking Boise State 44-21. Biggest faller: Wisconsin. Wave goodbye to the Badgers — down 13 spots to 18th on my unesteemed ballot — as playoff contenders after a home loss to four-touchdown underdog BYU.

Full ballot:

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Ohio State

4. Georgia

5. LSU

6. Oklahoma

7. Notre Dame

8. Penn State

9. Auburn

10. Stanford

11. Washington

12. West Virginia

13. Virginia Tech

14. Oklahoma State

15. TCU

16. Central Florida

17. Mississippi State

18. Wisconsin

19. Miami

20. Michigan

21. Kentucky

22. Boise State

23. Arizona State

24. Texas A&M

25. Michigan State

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

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