Why Clemson is No. 1 over Ohio State on Nathan Baird’s Associated Press Top 25 ballot: College rankings

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The real college rankings that matter won’t be released until late November, when the College Football Playoff selection committee goes to work.

The rest of us will keep coming up with a consensus snapshot of how we think college football looks from week to week. And for the first time in 2020, I have a new No. 1 team.

Ohio State has been my No. 1 since the preseason, and on paper, the Buckeyes have an undoubtedly great team. Even with questions on defense, the totality of the offense will make OSU as dangerous as any team in the country.

Clemson, however, looks great on the field right now. The latest evidence came in Saturday’s 42-17 dismantling of Miami. Regardless of whether or not the Hurricanes were overrated coming into that game, what the Tigers are doing on the field right now deserves recognition.

Miami could not summon a pass rush that threatened Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and he and running back Travis Etienne both looked sharp. Yet it was a Tigers defense that made the Hurricanes look completely pedestrian at times that mostly swayed my vote. Look around college football over the past weekend you’ll see why defense might ultimately decide who lifts the CFP trophy in January.

As such, I’m voting Clemson No. 1 and Ohio State No. 2. I was one of only two No. 1 votes for the Buckeyes last week. We’ll see if they have any after today’s poll comes out at 2 p.m. — and whether Clemson also took some votes from Alabama after a defense-optional victory at Ole Miss.

I similarly considered flipping Georgia and Alabama, but they will decide that question in person on Saturday anyway.

Here’s the rest of my ballot:

1-Clemson (4-0)

2-Ohio State (0-0)

3-Alabama (3-0)


Arizona ballot measure Proposition 208 leads in new poll

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The Invest in Education Act (Proposition 208), has support from nearly half of the voters surveyed, according to The Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll conducted Sept. 28-30. (Photo: Getty Images)

Proposition 208, which would raise taxes for education spending in Arizona, has a solid lead among likely voters, according to a new poll.

The Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll found that the Invest in Education Act, which would add a 3.5% tax surcharge on the wealthiest earners in the state, has support from nearly half of the voters surveyed.

Among the likely voters polled, 47% said they supported the measure, 37% opposed and 15% were undecided. The support largely falls along party lines, with more Democrats supporting the measure than Republicans. Independents were evenly split.

The live-interview poll of 500 likely voters in Arizona was conducted between Saturday and Wednesday and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. There were even one-third shares of Democrats, Republicans and independents. Sixty percent of those polled live in Maricopa County. Seventy percent of respondents are white and 26% are Hispanic or Black.

The poll results show that Invest in Ed still needs support from undecided voters. Its fervent supporters and foes are both waging intense campaigns to persuade Arizonans before Election Day.

Invest in Education, the committee in support of the measure had raised more than $4 million, according to campaign finance records filed at the end of July. Most of that funding was from Stand for Children, an education advocacy nonprofit.

Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy, the committee opposing the measure, raised nearly $600,000 as of July. Most of that money came from large donations from individual donors and companies, including $100,000 from home builder Blandford Homes and $100,000 from Meritage Homes.


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