Saturday, November 25News That Matters

Clemson closes in on No. 1 Alabama in AP Top 25 poll

Alabama‘s big win over Mississippi didn’t keep Clemson from cutting into its lead in The Associated Press’ college football poll.

The defending national champion Tigers more than doubled their number of first-place votes after their 31-17 win over then-No. 12 Virginia Tech. Clemson lost ground a week ago after struggling for three quarters against Boston College, but its sharp performance against the Hokies took the Tigers from eight to 17 first-place votes Sunday .

The Tide went from 52 first-place votes last week to 44 despite their 66-3 rout of the Rebels.

The top four teams remained the same. Following Alabama and Clemson are Oklahoma, which lost the first-place vote it got last week, and Penn State.

Southern California’s 30-27 loss at Washington State made room for Georgia to take over at No. 5 after its 41-0 win over Tennessee. USC toppled from No. 5 to No. 14.

Washington, Michigan, TCU, Wisconsin and Ohio State rounded out the top 10. Mississippi State is gone after its 49-10 loss at Auburn, the most lopsided game in the series since 1970. The Bulldogs, beaten by Georgia a week earlier, have been outscored 80-13 in two games.

LSU’s 24-21 loss to Troy marked the Tigers’ first defeat in 50 nonconference games since 2000. North Carolina State returned to the poll for the first time since 2010. The Wolfpack are 4-1 for the fourth straight year and 2-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2006. They got points on their first five possessions in a 33-25 win over Syracuse.

UCF is back for the first time since it was No. 10 in the final poll of 2013. The Knights have outscored opponents 139-40, including 40-13 over Memphis on Saturday.

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