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Bohls: College football (and my AP ballot) sees some mild shakeup as November upsets begin

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker has done wonders in his job, but the No. 3 Spartans were knocked off by Purdue on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind. That was one of a handful of wild upsets and national close calls for highly-ranked teams.

Chaos came early.

Even relatively speaking.

Oh, we saw only a couple of obligatory upsets. Here’s looking at you, Michigan State and Wake Forest.

Sparty fell to Purdue after its comeback win over Michigan to spoil coach Mel Tucker's weekend. Mack Brown's North Carolina outlasted Wake in a thrilling affair.

But nearly every other contender for a College Football Playoff berth seemed to get a major scare in this first weekend in November.

None was scarier than the fright No. 2 Alabama got against lowly LSU, which was flirting with a major upset in the closing minute and threatening to derail the Crimson Tide’s entire season. But Nebraska also challenged Ohio State down to the wire, Tulsa was on verge of ruining Cincinnati’s perfect season and Baylor fell on the road to a TCU team that lost its head coach a week ago.

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If I'm Luke Fickell, I'd be worried the Bearcats are playing with fire after their third straight scare from weak opponents. Cincinnati's a team that desperately needs style points, and it's failing on that front.

My top two remained the same with peerless Georgia and idle Oklahoma. But I slipped Oregon into the No. 3 slot after the Ducks got by big rival Washington.

I still maintain Alabama gets far too much credit for being the Alabama of old in mind if not in fact. The Tide have had close wins over Florida and now an LSU team playing out the string.

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Texas A&M keeps climbing, on the other hand.

Its shocker over Alabama revitalized the Aggies, who have now won four straight and sit No. 7 on my Associated Press Top 25 ballot. They downright suffocated Auburn 20-3, allowing half the Tigers’ usual weekly offensive output and holding them to a single field goal on Auburn’s second possession of the game.

SMU, Mississippi State and Kentucky fell out of my Top 25 after all lost, the Mustangs and Wildcats for the second consecutive week. Newcomers are Purdue, which pulled off another stunner by taking out the Spartans, streaking Utah and Pittsburgh with Heisman contender Kenny Pickett.

Bohls' Top 25 ballot

1. Georgia

2. Oklahoma

3. Oregon

4. Ohio State

5. Alabama 

6. Cincinnati

7. Texas A&M

8. Notre Dame

9. Michigan State

10. Michigan

11. Oklahoma State

12. Houston

13. Wake Forest

14. Wisconsin

15. Auburn

16. UTSA

17. Ole Miss

18. Baylor

19. BYU

20. Iowa

21. Coastal Carolina

22. Louisiana

23. Purdue

24. Utah

25. Pitt