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The University of South Carolina football team jumped two spots in the Associated Press Top 25 poll – from No. 10 to No. 8 – on the strength of Saturday’s 31-17 win over arch-rival Clemson.

In fact the Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) missed the No. 7 spot by just one point – earning 1066 points to Stanford’s 1067.

USC did tie Baylor for the No. 7 spot in the USA Today/ Coaches’ poll – climbing three spots from last week.

South Carolina has now been ranked for 62 consecutive weeks – extending a school record.

Meanwhile Dabo Swinney’s Tigers (10-2, 6-2 ACC) moved in the opposite direction after dropping their fifth consecutive game to Steve Spurrier’s squad. Clemson fell from No. 6 to No. 13 in the AP poll and from No. 4 to No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll.

The news wasn’t all bad for the Atlantic Coast Conference, though, as Florida State assumed the No. 1 ranking in the nation for the first time since 2000 following Alabama’s last-second loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide slipped to No. 4 in both polls – just behind Auburn.

In fact if Florida State defeats No. 20 Duke in next week’s ACC championship game and No. 2 Ohio State beats No. 9/10 Michigan State in the Big 10 title game, then for the first time since 2005 a non-Southeastern Conference team will claim college football’s national championship.

Should one of those teams lose, though, the winner of the SEC championship game (between No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Missouri) could conceivably stake a claim to the title game.

Next year college football will move to a four-team playoff system.

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 (December 1)

ap

1. Florida State (58) 12-0, 1498
2. Ohio State 12-0, 1418
3. Auburn (2) 11-1, 1387
4. Alabama 11-1, 1294
5. Missouri 11-1, 1281
6. Oklahoma State 10-1, 1197
7. Stanford 10-2, 1067
8. South Carolina 10-2, 1066
9. Baylor 10-1, 1020
10. Michigan State 11-1, 1002
11. Arizona State 10-2, 843
12. Oregon 10-2, 815
13. Clemson 10-2, 813
14. LSU 9-3, 690
15. UCF 10-1, 621
16. Northern Illinois 12-0, 596
17. UCLA 9-3, 510
18. Oklahoma 9-2, 503
19. Louisville 10-1, 482
20. Duke 10-2, 348
21. Wisconsin 9-3, 299
22. Texas A&M 8-4, 186
23. Texas 8-3, 156
24. Fresno State 10-1, 124
25. Georgia 8-4, 111

Dropped from rankings: USC 23, Notre Dame 25

Others receiving votes: Cincinnati 45, USC 28, Notre Dame 26, Miami (FL) 26, Iowa 23, Vanderbilt 16, Washington 6, Minnesota 2, North Dakota State 1.

USA TODAY/ COACHES’ POLL (December 1)

usa today

1. Florida State (58) 12-0, 1546
2. Ohio State (4) 12-0, 1462
3. Auburn 11-1, 1437
4. Alabama 11-1, 1333
5. Missouri 11-1, 1315
6. Oklahoma State 10-1, 1248
7. Baylor 10-1, 1100
7. South Carolina 10-2, 1100
9. Michigan State 11-1, 1037
10. Stanford 10-2, 1034
11. Clemson 10-2, 853
12. Oregon 10-2, 843
13. Arizona State 10-2, 765
14. LSU 9-3, 720
15. Oklahoma 9-2, 660
16. Louisville 10-1, 625
17. UCF 10-1, 572
18. Northern Illinois 12-0, 547
19. UCLA 9-3, 473
20. Duke 10-2, 402
21. Wisconsin 9-3, 266
22. Fresno State 10-1, 215
23. Cincinnati 9-2, 167
24. Texas 8-3, 149
25. Texas A&M 8-4, 121

Dropped from rankings: USC 23

Others receiving votes: Miami (FL) 47, Georgia 41, Vanderbilt 18, Iowa 13, Marshall 13, USC 10, Washington 6, Virginia Tech 4, Minnesota 4, Notre Dame 3, Ball State 1.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography