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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has proven the defending champs are the best team in the country.

Lauren Shute: How I voted in the AP Top 25 following Week 3

AUBURN, Ala. — Here is how I voted in the AP Top 25 poll after Week 3 of the college football season.

I was the only AP voter to rank Clemson higher than Alabama following Week 2. Fans and members of the media made it clear to me that they not only disagreed with my decision, but that I had “no clue” what I was doing.

Well, the defending national champions are back in my top spot again after an impressive 47-21 victory at Louisville. The Tigers could have beaten Lamar Jackson’s Cardinals by more. There are no doubts in my mind that Clemson is the best team in the country. If or when the Tigers lose, they’ll drop, but I’m voting based on what is happening week to week instead of my projections or predictions.

There isn’t a lack of movement in my ballot. You’ll see Oklahoma at No. 2, Southern California dropped quite a bit and LSU completely fell out of my Top 25 — and they aren’t the only ones.

Also, a note about the state I live in and the team I cover. Alabama has not looked like the top team in the country through the first three weeks. It’s clear the Crimson Tide are still trying to figure a few things out, even with the talent all over their roster.

Auburn defeated Mercer, but didn’t put together a performance it needed to. Instead of coming out with an edge or confidence against their FCS opponent, the Tigers looked sloppy. Still, while Gus Malzahn’s offense continues to struggle, Auburn’s defense continues to shine.

Here is my top-25:

  1. Clemson
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Alabama
  4. Penn State
  5. Washington
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Ohio St.
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Michigan
  10. Southern California
  11.  Florida State
  12. Georgia
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. TCU
  15. Washington State
  16. Miami
  17. Auburn
  18. Louisville
  19. South Florida
  20. Utah
  21. Mississippi State
  22. San Diego State
  23. West Virginia
  24. Florida
  25. Oregon