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Murray's final AP Top 25: Three Mountain West schools make the cut

LSU
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow celebrates his team's national title. (David J. Phillip/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

* LSU: Technically, LSU didn't rise since I've had the Tigers at the top of my ballot for several weeks. But LSU had no issue in the College Football Playoff en route to a perfect season. The Tigers established themselves as the best team in the nation halfway through the year and never looked back. My final ballot also included three Mountain West schools with Boise State (21), Air Force (22) and San Diego State (24). Only Boise State and Air Force made the overall final AP Top 25, with Air Force somehow in front of Boise State despite both teams having the same record and the Broncos beating the Falcons.

On the fall

* Utah: I don't like dropping teams too much after the bowl season because some teams get really tough opponents and others get easy matchups. I'm not going to crush a school like Wisconsin for losing the Rose Bowl to Oregon. That said, Utah took the biggest drop on my ballot, going from No 12 to No. 17 after losing to a very average Texas team, 38-10, in the Alamo Bowl. The Utes dropped their final two games (to Oregon and Texas) as well as a loss to USC and didn't have much in the way of quality wins. Utah finished 16th in the overall final Top 25, so right in line with where I dropped them.

Chris Murray’s AP Top 25

1. LSU (1)

2. Clemson (3)

3. Ohio State (2)

4. Georgia (5)

5. Florida (6)

6. Penn State (8)

7. Oregon (10)

8. Alabama (11)

9. Oklahoma (4)

10. Minnesota (14)

11. Baylor (9)

12. Auburn (7)

13. Wisconsin (13)

14. Notre Dame (16)

15. Michigan (15)

16. Iowa (18)

17. Utah (12)

18. Memphis (17)

19. Appalachian State (20)

20. Navy (21)

21. Boise State (19)

22. Air Force (24)

23. Cincinnati (22)

24. San Diego State (n/r)

25. Texas (n/r)

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

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