Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney (right) and wide receiver Martavis Bryant (1) react during the third quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Clemson Memorial.(Photo: Joshua S. Kelly, USA TODAY Sports)
By Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY Sports
The first marquee showdown of the 2013 college football season lived
up to its billing, and its winner was rewarded with a top-five spot in
the new USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll on Tuesday.
38-35 home victory against Georgia helped the Tigers vault into the No.
5 position that had been occupied by the Bulldogs. It is Clemson's
first top-five appearance since October of 2000 when it held the No.4
The top four teams remained the same with Alabama holding
steady at No. 1. The Crimson Tide retained all 58 of the No.1 votes they
received in preseason balloting after a 35-10 win against Virginia Tech
Ohio State maintained three No. 1 votes. Oregon stayed put at No.3
after an easy tune-up against FCS member Nicholls State. Stanford, the
only top25 team not in action on opening weekend, remained fourth. Texas
A&M retained the 62nd and final first-place vote, but the Aggies
were leapfrogged by both Clemson and South Carolina and slid a notch to
No. 7. Sunshine State rivals Florida and Florida State round out the top
Stock up: Florida State.
The splashy Monday night debut
of freshman sensation Jameis Winston helped the Seminoles climb two
places to No.10. Most football fans in ACC country have had FSU's Oct.
19 trip to Clemson circled on the calendar already, but now a
nation-wide audience is likely to take notice if the two front-runners
come into Death Valley undefeated as expected.
Stock down: Georgia.
It was only a three-point loss in a
frenzied road environment, but the Bulldogs tumbled seven places to
No.12 nonetheless. The slide was hastened by the lack of upsets in the
top 10. Georgia can start heading back in the other direction next week
if it can beat no.6 South Carolina at home.
Stock up: UCLA.
Bruins join Clemson as the biggest movers of the week with their
three-position gain to No.18. UCLA, a winner against Nevada, edged ahead
of Nebraska, which needed to stave off a challenge from Wyoming.
Stock down: Notre Dame.
no fault of their own, the Fighting Irish lost two positions and check
in at No.13 this week. Though Notre Dame took care of business against
Temple, it was supplanted in the No.11 slot by LSU, whose 10-point win
vs. TCU was viewed more favorably by the voters.
Stock up: Northwestern.
losing two key offensive starters to injury early in the first half,
the Wildcats overcame a determined California squad in Berkeley.
Northwestern gained two spots to enter the top 20.
Stock down: TCU.
Horned Frogs weren't knocked out of the rankings completely. But the
loss to LSU did cost them their top-20 preseason position. They held on
to a 24th-place tie.
New kids on the block: No.23 Washington, No.24 Miami (Fla.)
College dropouts: Boise State, Oregon State.