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Alabama a 17-point pick over A&M; my AP Top 25 ballot

Alabama a 17-point pick over A&M; my AP Top 25 ballot

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Texas A&M v Vandy

Alabama is a 17-point favorite over Texas A&M. That’s a lot of points, but the Aggies lost by at least that many in their last three trips to Tuscaloosa. Here’s the series' scores since the Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

At Alabama

2012: A&M, 29-24

2014: Alabama, 59-0

2016: Alabama, 33-14

2018: Alabama, 45-23

At Kyle Field

2013: Alabama, 49-42

2015: Alabama, 41-23

2017: Alabama, 27-19

2019: Alabama, 47-28

Third-ranked Florida, which comes to Kyle Field on Oct. 10, is an 18-point favorite over South Carolina this weekend. It’s interesting that the line opened at 19.5. I guess betters took the points banking on South Carolina's Will Muschamp having the Gamecocks ready to play in his return to the Swamp against a Florida defense that gave up 613 yards and 35 points to Ole Miss.

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Voting in the Associated Press Top 25 poll has been challenging this year. You could vote in the preseason poll for Big Ten and Pac-12 conference teams, even though they weren’t going to play because of COVID-19. We couldn’t vote for Big Ten teams last week, though they had changed their stance and will play this fall. This week we were allowed to vote for all teams, which seems fair to me.  I put Ohio State third, though the Buckeyes don’t play their first game until Oct. 24. Most of my colleagues didn’t think that much of them as they came in sixth, though four voters did vote them first.

With three more weeks of games before Ohio State takes the field, I guess we could have a top-ranked team in the country in October that hasn’t played a game we all the teams ranked ahead of OSU lose. In that case, I couldn’t vote OSU first. Then again, this is a year never say never, though I don’t think a team that hasn’t played a game could make the College Football Playoff.

I voted A&M 13th this week, which is where it ended up. That was not the 13th best team in the country at Kyle Field. Maybe the it was the 83rd best team. Every team has a bad game or two. If Texas would have lost, the Horns would have dropped drastically a la Oklahoma. 

It's early, things will settle down quicker than ever with most teams playing only conference games. 

My ballot: 

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

4. Florida

5. Notre Dame

6. Georgia

7. Auburn

8. Penn State

9. Oregon

10. Miami

11. Texas

12. Wisconsin

13. Texas A&M

14. Oklahoma

15. North Carolina

16. Oklahoma State

17. Miss State

18. Cincinnati

19. UCF

20. Tennessee

21. Michigan

22. LSU

23. Memphis

24. Louisiana-Lafayette

25. Pitt

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