Sugar Bowl Football

Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talk before the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where their teams met in a College Football Playoff game in January. File/AP

CLEMSON — Eight weeks into the college football season have come and gone, and at this point, it looks like history is going to repeat itself in some capacity. 

Alabama is the nation's No. 1 team, a position the Crimson Tide have held down all season long and certainly earned again this week after beating Tennessee on the road by almost 40 points. 

But Clemson is now the new No. 2 as both teams seem to have the two clearest paths to the College Football Playoff right now. Clemson took care of N.C. State 41-7 on Saturday at Death Valley with no problems, putting together perhaps the Tigers' most complete game of the season. 

The new AP Top 25 poll was released Sunday afternoon with Alabama and Clemson leading it, as the Tigers jumped Ohio State after the Buckeyes' meltdown at Purdue in a near 30-point loss to an unranked team. Playing for Tyler Trent, a Purdue student who is battling terminal bone cancer, the Boilermakers thrashed Urban Meyer's group on an emotional night and sent his squad back to Ohio with its tail between its legs, needing to win out in order to have a shot at the Playoff. The Buckeyes fell from No. 2 to No. 9 on my ballot and from No. 2 to No. 11 overall.

The Buckeyes are now in the same position as Georgia. Both teams were in the top four for much of the first half of the season and both teams have to now first, win out and second, rely on other teams losing in order to make it to the Playoff. 

In terms of the top five, the new order is Alabama at No. 1, Clemson at No. 2, Notre Dame at No. 3, LSU at No. 4 and Michigan at No. 5 — the same order that is reflected on my own ballot. Michigan handily beat rival Michigan State Saturday with a 21-7 win on the road.

My No. 6 is Texas, my No. 7 is Georgia, my No. 8 is Oklahoma, my No. 9 is Ohio State and my No. 10 is UCF. 

Washington State also took a sizable jump in both the official poll and my ballot for its win over Oregon with College Game Day in town. The Cougars beat the Ducks 34-20 to jump from No. 25 to No. 14 officially and from unranked to No. 15 in my own poll. And last but not least, Appalachian State is finally in for the first time ever. The Mountaineers are 25 both on my ballot and on AP for their 5-1 overall record in the Sun Belt conference. 

Below is the AP Top 25 in its entirety, as well as how I voted: 

The AP Top 25

1. Alabama 

2. Clemson 

3. Notre Dame 

4. LSU 

5. Michigan 

6. Texas 

7. Georgia 

8. Oklahoma

9. Florida 

10. UCF 

11. Ohio State 

12. Kentucky 

13. West Virginia 

14. Washington State 

15. Washington 

16. Texas A&M 

17. Penn State 

18. Iowa 

19. Oregon 

20. Wisconsin 

21. South Florida 

22. N.C. State 

23. Utah 

24. Stanford 

25. Appalachian State

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

1. Alabama 

2. Clemson 

3. Notre Dame 

4. LSU 

5. Michigan 

6. Texas 

7. Georgia 

8. Oklahoma

9. Ohio State 

10. UCF 

11. Florida 

12. West Virginia 

13. Washington 

14. Kentucky 

15. Washington State 

16. Oregon 

17. Penn State 

18. Texas A&M 

19. South Florida 

20. Iowa 

21. Wisconsin 

22. N.C. State 

23. Stanford

24. San Diego State 

25. Appalachian State

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.