Murray's AP Top 25: Auburn takes huge leap after beating rival Alabama

Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney loses his helmet as Auburn running back Shaun Shivers runs through him for a touchdown Saturday. (Butch Dill/AP)

Nevada Sports Net columnist Chris Murray is one of 61 voters in the college football AP Top 25 poll. Here is a look at his final ballot this week.

On the rise

* Auburn: Auburn beat rival Alabama for the second time in three seasons and moved from No. 18 to No. 9 on my ballot, a huge jump for this time in the season. Yes, the Tigers have three losses but those are to LSU (No. 1 on my ballot), Georgia (No. 4) and Florida (No. 8). Auburn also has two wins over top-15 teams in Alabama (No. 11 on my ballot) and Oregon (No. 14). I’ll take the résumé over a team like Alabama, whose best win is over a 7-5 team (Texas A&M). Auburn leaped a bunch of two-loss teams with its win over Alabama. I nearly jumped Oklahoma over Georgia for the all-important No. 4 spot, but held the line.

On the fall

* Michigan: I only dropped the Wolverines three spots (from No. 12 to No. 15) after their loss to rival Ohio State, but Michigan just can’t beat elite teams under Jim Harbaugh, who is 1-11 against the top 10 in his Wolverines tenure. Michigan’s losses have come to Ohio State (No. 2 on my ballot), Penn State (No. 10) and Wisconsin (No. 12), so those aren’t bad losses, but Harbaugh is being paid huge sums of money to win those games.

Chris Murray’s AP Top 25

1. LSU (1)

2. Ohio State (2)

3. Clemson (3)

4. Georgia (4)

5. Oklahoma (5)

6. Utah (7)

7. Baylor (8)

8. Florida (10)

9. Auburn (18)

10. Penn State (11)

11. Alabama (6)

12. Wisconsin (15)

13. Minnesota (9)

14. Oregon (13)

15. Michigan (12)

16. Notre Dame (14)

17. Memphis (17)

18. Iowa (19)

19. Boise State (20)

20. Cincinnati (16)

21. Appalachian State (22)

22. Navy (23)

23. USC (24)

24. Virginia (n/r)

25. Air Force (n/r)

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @MurrayNSN.

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