College football

Notebook: Clemson surges to No. 4 in AP poll

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers should keep their lofty status — if they can avoid Clemsoning.
Dabo Swinney’s Tigers should keep their lofty status — if they can avoid Clemsoning.

Barring a severe case of Clemsoning by Clemson, the Tigers should be in the national championship race for most of this season.

Clemson surged to No. 4 on Tuesday, its highest ranking in the Associated Press poll in 25 years after the Tigers won the biggest game of the opening weekend of the season, a 38-35 victory against Georgia.

The Tigers received one-first place vote in the new Top 25 and have their best showing in the poll since Sept. 12, 1988, when they were No. 3.


Alabama remains No. 1 and received 58 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel after beating Virginia Tech, 35-10.

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No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Ohio State flip-flopped spots from the preseason rankings. The Buckeyes received one first-place vote. Stanford is No. 5.

As for Clemson, coach Dabo Swinney’s team should be able to enjoy its lofty status for a while as long as the Tigers avoid Clemsoning at its worst. Clemsoning is a term college football fans use when teams with high expectations lose to inferior opponents. Over the years, it’s been a nasty habit of the Tigers.

Clemson this week hosts South Carolina State, an FCS team — though not a terrible one. And after what happened last weekend with eight FCS teams beating FBS teams, Clemson best not party too hard.

The Tigers should be big favorites in the next four Atlantic Coast Conference games after that before No. 10 Florida State and redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston come to town Oct. 19.


Florida State moved up one spot to No. 10 in the rankings, but no doubt sent a message that it’s prepared to compete with Clemson in the ACC, if not for a national championship. In a dazzling debut, Winston led Florida State to a 41-13 victory at Pitt on Monday night, going 25 of 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns, and running for a score. The Seminoles’ schedule also sets up nicely for a battle of unbeatens on Oct. 19.

Vanderbilt WR is OK

Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews said he’s just fine and he never had any concussion symptoms.

The receiver said he vomited in last week’s season opener because he had been hit in the stomach.

Cameras showed Matthews being ill twice on the field a play after being hit hard by Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt, leading to questions whether the receiver suffered a concussion. The senior receiver then sat out a play before returning.

He wound up matching his personal high with 10 catches for a career-best 178 yards despite being double-teamed in Vanderbilt’s 39-35 loss Thursday.

Reinforcements for OSU


After being suspended for the opening game, Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby and backup running back Rod Smith will return to the lineup Saturday against San Diego State . . . Kansas State coach Bill Snyder plans to use quarterback Daniel Sams more after the sophomore sat for most of the Wildcats’ stunning loss to North Dakota State last week. Snyder said Sams had a ‘‘great practice’’ on Monday and deserves to be on the field when Kansas State tries to bounce back on Saturday night against Louisiana-Lafayette.