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College football: No. 4 Clemson has best AP poll ranking in 25 years
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • Barring a severe case of Clemsoning by Clemson, the Tigers should be in the national championship race for most of this season.

No. 4 Clemson surged Tuesday to its highest ranking in The Associated Press poll in 25 years after the Tigers won the biggest game of the opening weekend of the college football season, a 38-35 victory against Georgia.

The Tigers received one-first place vote in the new Top 25 and have their best showing in the poll since Sept. 12, 1988, when they were No. 3.

Alabama remains No. 1 and received 58 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel after beating Virginia Tech 35-10 to start the season.

No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Ohio State flip-flopped spots from the preseason rankings. The Buckeyes received one first-place vote. Stanford is No. 5.

As for Clemson, coach Dabo Swinney's team should be able to enjoy its lofty status for a while as long the Tigers avoid Clemsoning at its worst. Clemsoning is a term college football fans use when teams with high expectations lose to inferior opponents. Over the years, it's been a nasty habit of the Tigers.

Clemson this week hosts South Carolina State, an FCS team — though not a terrible one. And after what happened last weekend with eight FCS teams beating FBS teams, Clemson best not party too hard.

The Tigers should be big favorites in the next four Atlantic Coast Conference games after that before No. 10 Florida State and remarkable redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston come to town on Oct. 19.

Florida State team moved up one spot to No. 10, but no doubt sent a message that it's prepared to compete with Clemson in the ACC, if not for a national championship. In a dazzling debut, Winston led Florida State to a 41-13 victory at Pitt on Monday night, going 25 of 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns, and running for a score. The Seminoles' schedule also sets up nicely for a battle of unbeatens on Oct. 19.

Georgia played the toughest opening game of any of the highly ranked teams, traveling to Death Valley. The Bulldogs lost by three and dropped six spots in the rankings to No. 11. They were the only team in the top 18 to lose. Impressive victories by No. 6 South Carolina, No. 8 Louisville and No. 9 LSU helped push Georgia back. —

Top 25 poll

First-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 2, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

Rec Pts Pv

1. Alabama (58) 1-0 1,497 1

2. Oregon 1-0 1,355 3

3. Ohio St. (1) 1-0 1,330 2

4. Clemson (1) 1-0 1,304 8

5. Stanford 0-0 1,277 4

6. S. Carolina 1-0 1,181 6

7. Texas A&M 1-0 1,085 7

8. Louisville 1-0 1,073 9

9. LSU 1-0 971 12

10. Florida St. 1-0 953 11

11. Georgia 0-1 894 5

12. Florida 1-0 875 10

13. Okla. St. 1-0 780 13

14. Notre Dame 1-0 707 14

15. Texas 1-0 674 15

16. Oklahoma 1-0 612 16

17. Michigan 1-0 583 17

18. UCLA 1-0 387 21

19. N.western 1-0 320 22

20. Washington 1-0 315 NR

21. Wisconsin 1-0 287 23

22. Nebraska 1-0 219 18

23. Baylor 1-0 150 NR

24. TCU 0-1 148 20

25. Southern Cal 1-0 135 24

Others receiving votes • Miami 127, Mississippi 50, Arizona St. 48, Michigan St. 42, Cincinnati 27, N. Illinois 27, Fresno St. 22, Virginia Tech 12, Bowling Green 9, Georgia Tech 8, Arizona 6, Penn St. 4, Boise St. 3, Virginia 2, Arkansas 1.

College football • If Tigers avoid their typical bad losses, they should maintain ranking.
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