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Clemson tops AP Top 25; FSU up to 10, UF down to 18

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The Clemson Tigers tightened their hold on the top spot in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll. Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa and Michigan State round out the top 5. Clemson earned 53 of the 61 first place votes with the Crimson Tide collecting the other eight.

After Florida State’s 27-2 victory over Florida, the Seminoles moved into the 10th position. The Gators dropped from No. 10 to No. 18.

Oklahoma’s rise coincides with its climb in the playoff rankings. The Sooners moved up from last week’s position of No. 5. The Big 12 has no conference championship, meaning the Sooners’ regular season is complete.

It matters little which team between Michigan and State or Iowa is No. 4 or No. 5. They meet on Saturday for the Big 10 Championship with the winner likely earning a spot on the College Football Playoffs. Ohio State jumped from eighth to sixth after its blowout victory at Michigan.

North Carolina is finally earning respect after piling up 11 wins in a row. The Tar Heels moved into the No. 8 position, up three spots, after Saturday’s victory over North Carolina State. They, above any team, have the chance to blow up the polls and the playoffs if they can defeat Clemson in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday.

Stanford made the biggest jump from last week’s Top 25, leaping from No. 13 to No. 7. Some will question such an improvement based on a last-second home victory over a banged-up, but gutsy, Notre Dame team. The Irish fell from No. 4 to No. 9.

Six of the top 10 teams are either from the Big 10 or the Atlantic Coast Conference. Independent Notre  Dame, who plays an ACC schedule, unofficially makes it four from the ACC. No other conference had more than one in the top 10.

Among the conferences, the Big 10 has six teams among the top 25; the Pac 12, SEC and Big 12 each have four. The ACC and the American Conference both have three.

The complete AP Top 25 Poll can be found here.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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