Much like they were a year ago, Alabama and Clemson remain the class of college football.
The Crimson Tide are the nation's No. 1 team after a 66-3 win over Ole Miss, but Clemson is closing in their rearview mirror. The Tigers are up to 17 first-place votes in the latest Associated Press poll, up from eight a week ago. Clemson has already won three games against ranked opponents, two coming by multiple scores.
"Hats off to our guys," Tigers coach Dabo Swinney told reporters. "We know we're good enough. We know what it takes. They're battle-tested. They've been on the road. They've played tough teams."
Idle Oklahoma and Penn State, which had no problem trouncing Indiana, remain in their respective spots at No. 3 and No. 4. The biggest change is Georgia replacing USC at No. 5 after the Trojans were upset on the road by Washington State. The Cougars earned a 30-27 victory over their Pac-12 counterparts on a 32-yard Erik Powell field goal with less than two minutes left.
USC quarterback Sam Darnold fumbled on the ensuing drive to seal the deal for Washington State. Darnold was held to just 164 yards through the air—less than half of Cougars quarterback Luke Falk, who threw for 340 and two touchdowns.
"I think it's just a steppingstone. We expect to win games like this," Falk told reporters. "Hopefully from here on out going forward guys will continue the tradition of competing in games like these. Right now it's a steppingstone."
Washington State moved up five spots to No. 11 after the win. USC is ranked 14th, a drop of nine spots from its fifth-place ranking a week ago.
Only four Top 25 teams lost this weekend. LSU and Mississippi State dropped out of the rankings after dropping games to unranked opponents.
Associated Press Poll
4. Penn State
10. Ohio State
11. Washington State
15. Oklahoma State
16. Virginia Tech
18. South Florida
19. San Diego State
21. Notre Dame
23. West Virginia
24. North Carolina State