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David Briggs breaks down his AP Top 25 vote

09/05/2017, 9:14am EDT

Where do Ohio State, Michigan, Big Ten teams fall?

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Penn State head coach James Franklin meet on the field before the start of a game. The two coach the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in David Briggs' top-25 poll. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The first few weeks of voting in the Associated Press Top 25 poll are always the most difficult.

Do you base your vote solely on the results? Do you base it on who you think are the best teams? Or a mix of both?

One friend and notorious former voter went with the first approach, which naturally gave fans a conniption. Taken to the extreme, the first poll using this method might begin with Alabama, Michigan, and ... Maryland.

Sure, the Terrapins might still be peeling their limbs off the turf from back-to-back 10-touchdown losses to Ohio State and Michigan last year. But save for Alabama and Michigan — which respectively throttled then-No. 3 Florida State and No. 17 Florida — who had a more impressive win than Maryland’s stunning 51-41 victory at No. 23 Texas?

The show-me line of thinking has some merit, but this corner tends to keep it a little more, uh, traditional — a blend of what we know and what we think we know. That means I have Michigan moving up a few spots but not to No. 2 after abusing an upper-level SEC team, Southern California falling a few spots but not out of the polls after an ugly and narrow home win over Western Michigan, and, yes, the Terrapins peaking in at No. 25 but no higher because, well, they’re still Maryland football until proven otherwise.

Here’s our full vote in the week’s AP poll, which rolls out at 2 p.m. today:

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Penn State

4. Clemson

5. Florida State

6. Oklahoma

7. Michigan

8. USC

9. Washington

10. Oklahoma State

11. Wisconsin

12. LSU

13. Georgia

14. Auburn

15. Stanford

16. Virginia Tech

17. Kansas State

18. Miami

19. Washington State

20. Louisville

21. Notre Dame

22. Colorado

23. West Virginia

24. South Florida

25. Maryland

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

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