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The shuffling continues, and this time it happened in dramatic fashion.

Lucky for us here in Big Ten country, two of the top teams squared off, and just when it looked like Penn State was putting a stranglehold on the Big Ten East and its No. 2 spot in the rankings, Ohio State came roaring back and pulled off the one-point victory.

That moves the Buckeyes up to No. 3 behind Georgia, which is the new No. 2 on my Associated Press Top 25 ballot this week.

A new team appears at No. 4, also, as Notre Dame jumps up after a convincing victory over N.C. State. It was enough to move the Irish ahead of unbeaten Wisconsin, which struggled to beat a bad Illinois team. The Badgers still control their fate, though any loss likely would derail their playoff hopes.

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The shuffling of the bottom half continues, as it does most seasons.

Mississippi State, Iowa State and Arizona all jump up into my rankings this week while Michigan State drops to No. 21 after its triple-overtime loss at Northwestern with Michigan at No. 23, up two spots after its win over Rutgers.

Some teams might have some gripes – South Florida and Washington State both fall out of the rankings – but if we’re debating which teams should be ranked from roughly No. 17 and beyond, then it’s a silly argument considering none of those teams are likely end up anywhere near the playoff field.

MATT CHARBONEAU’S AP VOTE

1. Alabama (1)

2. Georgia (3)

3. Ohio State (4)

4. Notre Dame (7)

5. Wisconsin (6)

6. Oklahoma State (8)

7. Penn State (2)

8. Clemson (9)

9. Oklahoma (11)

10. Washington (12)

11. Miami (10)

12. Virginia Tech (14)

13. TCU (5)

14. Southern Cal (17)

15. Auburn (18)

16. UCF (19)

17. LSU (22)

18. Stanford (21)

19. Memphis (23)

20. N.C. State (15)

21. Michigan State (16)

22. Iowa State (NR)

23. Michigan (25)

24. Mississippi State (NR)

25. Arizona (NR)

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