GWINN DAVIS MEDIA

Syracuse linebacker Andrew Armstrong (12) chases down Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16). The Clemson Tigers faced the Syracuse Orange at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, Saturday, September 29, 2018. Gwinn Davis / Special to The Post and Courier

CLEMSON — It was one of the most dramatic weeks in recent memory at Clemson last week, but the voters who make up the AP Top 25 poll still believe Clemson is one of the four best college football teams in the country right now, and so the Tigers will take it. Gratefully so. 

Clemson slipped just one spot Sunday when the new poll was released, falling from No. 3 to No. 4 after barely hanging on against Syracuse on Saturday. Part of Clemson's fall is because of how close the game was when the Tigers were playing without the now-departed Kelly Bryant and the injured-at-halftime Trevor Lawrence, but part of it was also because of Ohio State. The Buckeyes, the new No. 3 team, beat Penn State in wild fashion by one point on the road in prime-time that simply couldn't go unnoticed. 

Alabama is still No. 1, Georgia is still No. 2, but Ohio State is now No. 3, Clemson is now No. 4 and LSU stays No. 5 to round out the poll's top five. 

Looking at the bigger picture, Notre Dame is on the rise, having beaten Stanford at home in emphatic fashion with a 38-17 score that rose the Fighting Irish from No. 8 to No. 6. I went back and forth about where to put Clemson and Notre Dame and ultimately decided that this week, the Fighting Irish deserved the No. 4 spot on my ballot, while Clemson slid in at my No. 5 spot. While I was impressed with Clemson's ability to beat Syracuse with a former third-string quarterback, and while I was impressed with how Clemson got it done despite the week the Tigers had following Bryant's sudden departure, it was just too hard to ignore that Notre Dame beat a team as good as Stanford. Clemson was projected to beat Syracuse by 20-something points, not just by the four-point margin that it did. That was the difference for me. My top five consisted of Alabama at No. 1, Georgia at No. 2, Ohio State at No. 3, Notre Dame at No. 4 and Clemson at No. 5. 

Kentucky is also on the rise after beating South Carolina for the fifth straight time. The Wildcats went from No. 17 to No. 13. Florida is in the poll at No. 22 after being unranked last week thanks to Dan Mullen leading the Gators to a win on the road against his former team, Mississippi State. A solid Colorado team also cracked in this week, as did a 4-0 N.C. State team, a one-loss Virginia Tech team and a one-loss Oklahoma State team. 

Below is the entire poll, as well as a breakdown of how I voted: 

The AP Top 25 

1. Alabama 

2. Georgia 

3. Ohio State 

4. Clemson 

5. LSU 

6. Notre Dame 

7. Oklahoma 

8. Auburn 

9. West Virginia 

10. Washington  

11. Penn State 

12. UCF 

13. Kentucky 

14. Stanford 

15. Michigan 

16. Wisconsin 

17. Miami 

18. Oregon 

19. Texas 

20. Michigan State 

21. Colorado 

22. Florida 

23. N.C. State 

24. Virginia Tech 

25. Oklahoma State

The AP Top 25 as voted on by Post and Courier Clemson reporter Grace Raynor 

1. Alabama 

2. Georgia 

3. Ohio State 

4. Notre Dame 

5. Clemson 

6. LSU 

7. Oklahoma 

8. Washington 

9. West Virginia 

10. Auburn 

11. Penn State 

12. Kentucky 

13. Stanford 

14. UCF 

15. Miami 

16. Michigan 

17. Wisconsin 

18. Texas 

19. Oregon 

20. Florida 

21. Michigan State 

22. Colorado 

23. N.C. State 

24. Boise State 

25. South Florida 

Follow Grace Raynor on Twitter @gmraynor

Grace is the Post and Courier's Clemson reporter. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in journalism.