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Seminoles on the rise in AP Top 25; Gators steady, ‘Canes drop

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The Florida State Seminoles are on a wild ride in the AP Top 25 poll. One week after taking a huge fall following a loss to North Carolina, the Seminoles climbed nine spots to claim the No. 14 spot in this week’s poll.

FSU’s 20-19 win at Miami, featuring a strong defensive performance, impressed enough voters to bring them back to some relevance. The Hurricanes dropped from No. 10 to No. 16.

Florida remained at No. 18 following an unscheduled week off. Hurricane Matthew forced them to postpone Saturday’s game against LSU, despite suggestions the game be moved to Baton Rouge.

Last week’s top five of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan and Washington — in that order — remained in place. Tennessee, despite losing in overtime at Texas A&M, maintained their hold on the ninth position.

Another SEC team on the move is Auburn, who crashed the Top 25 for the first time this year. Their 38-14 takedown of Mississippi State helped that along.

Outside of Florida State, another ACC team making some noise is Virginia Tech. The Hokies climbed from 25th to 17th following their thrashing of North Carolina, whose stay in the Top 25 lasted one week.

After Navy sunk previously undefeated Houston, the Midshipmen claimed the No. 25 slot. Houston fell from the sixth to the 13th position.

Just ahead of the Middies are the Western Michigan Broncos of the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos improved to 6-0 over the weekend.

With Western Michigan’s entry, the Top 25 is now represented by eight conferences. The SEC has seven teams in the rankings, while the ACC has five, the Big 10 with four (all in the Top 10), the Big 12 with three, the Pac 12 and the American Conference each with two. The Mid-American and Mountain West have one each.


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

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