AP poll: No. 3 Clemson will host No. 5 Florida State; No. 11 South Carolina one of eight SEC ranked squads

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley recovers a fourth-quarter fumble to score a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Boston College, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

No. 3 Clemson held strong at that position in the Associated Press rankings for the sixth consecutive week, while No. 11 South Carolina was impressive enough in its westward journey to hop three spots in the latest poll released Sunday.

The third-ranked Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) escaped the first half of their season unblemished, rallying to top Boston College 24-14 amidst a sluggish start. Before the game even ended, ESPN announced College GameDay would return to Clemson for this coming Saturday night’s showdown with its chief ACC rival.

With Stanford falling at Utah late Saturday night (and falling eight spots to No. 13), that gave way to No. 5 Florida State hopping into the top five for the first time this season. The Seminoles (5-0, 3-0) improved one spot after spending its Saturday on a bye week.

It also ensured the first matchup between top-5 teams ever to be played in the state of South Carolina will take place Saturday at 8 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium televised by ABC.

No. 5 Florida State (No. 4 offense, No. 7 defense) is one of two teams (No. 25 Wisconsin) rating in the top ten nationally in both total offense and total defense.

No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 8 Louisville and No. 9 UCLA are each in the top 20 in both categories.

By thrashing Arkansas 52-7 in Fayetteville, No. 11 South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 SEC East) garnered its most convincing win of the season to stunt the hand-wringing over defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s decision not to play last week vs. Kentucky.

The Gamecocks started their three-game road trip the right way, with planned treks to Tennessee this coming Saturday and then to No. 14 Missouri – which stunned new No. 15 Georgia in Athens yesterday – on Oct. 26.

Defending champion Alabama remained the top-ranked team in the land, leading the way for eight ranked SEC squads – the most ever for a conference in one individual poll. No. 6 LSU lept four spots after knocking off No. 22 Florida, which fell five spots.

No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 11 USC, No. 14 Mizzou, No. 15 Georgia and No. 24 Auburn rounded out the league’s representatives.

The ACC now has three teams tucked inside the top ten, with No. 10 Miami vaulting into the fray. No. 19 Virginia Tech visits the Seminoles No. 9 in a pivotal Coastal Division battle.

No. 17 Fresno State and No. 23 Northern Illinois are the only ranked teams from non-BCS qualifying conferences.