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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Six major takeaways from this week’s AP Top 25 poll

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LSU, congrats for knocking off No. 9 Texas on the road. As your reward, the No. 4 Tigers have officially reached the glass ceiling with Associated Press voters.

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25

  1. Clemson (2-0)
  2. Alabama (2-0)
  3. Georgia (2-0)
  4. LSU (2-0)
  5. Oklahoma (2-0)
  6. Ohio State (2-0)
  7. Notre Dame (1-0)
  8. Auburn (2-0)
  9. Florida (2-0)
  10. Michigan (2-0)
  11. Utah (2-0)
  12. Texas (1-1)
  13. Penn State (2-0)
  14. Wisconsin (2-0)
  15. Oregon (1-1)
  16. Texas A&M (1-1)
  17. UCF (2-0)
  18. Michigan State (2-0)
  19. Iowa (2-0)
  20. Washington State (2-0)
  21. Maryland (2-0)
  22. Boise State (2-0)
  23. Washington (1-1)
  24. USC (2-0)
  25. Virginia (2-0)

a) Hey LSU, congratulations on your thrilling (and harrowing) road victory over Texas!

And as your reward, the No. 4 Tigers have officially reached the glass ceiling with Associated Press voters.

What does that mean?

Simply put, LSU could win its next six games — including a pair of top-10 showdowns with Florida and Auburn — by an average of 30 points … and the Tigers’ national ranking still wouldn’t budge an inch, short of a shocking upset involving Alabama, Georgia or top-ranked Clemson.

Speaking of which …

b) Clemson might not get much ink in this space, moving forward. Yes, the Tigers are the defending national champions and eminently worthy of the No. 1 slot, but their schedule’s also chock-full of cream puffs.

The two biggest hurdles left on the docket: Next week at Syracuse (got pummeled by Maryland on Saturday) and at North Carolina (Sept. 28), which has gotten off to a commendable 2-0 start … but likely isn’t ready to compete with Clemson.

Especially on a national stage.

c) Don’t expect a repeat of what happened the last time Alabama visited South Carolina. (The top-ranked Tide were upended by Alshon Jeffery and the Gamecocks in 2010.)

This year’s Crimson Tide should breeze to an undefeated mark in advance of their No. 9 showdown with No. 4 LSU.

d) There’s no justification for Washington maintaining a spot in the Top 25 after enduring a home loss to Cal, relatively the same Golden Bears squad that incurred a 30-point home drubbing to UCLA last year. (Optics matter.)

Who deserves a spot over Washington? Well, there’s Cal, Iowa State … and most definitely North Carolina, which has two Power 5 victories over South Carolina and Miami.

e) The Big Ten leads all conference comers with seven schools in this week’s Top 25.

However, no one would dispute the SEC serving as the nation’s most powerful league. Yes it’s early … but five teams inside the top 9 (Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Florida) remains an awesome occurrence to fathom.

f) Wisconsin and Maryland have arguably had the greatest starts of any school listed in this countdown.

The Terrapins own the greatest blowout of a ranked team (trouncing No. 21 Syracuse by 43 points) … and the Badgers have yet to surrender a single point this season.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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