The Tigers are top-ranked in the AP media poll for the first time since the final poll of the 1981 season, when Clemson won its only AP national title.
Clemson was No. 1 when the initial College Football Playoff rankings of the season were unveiled Tuesday.
The Tigers (9-0) received 31 first-place votes and 1,489 points after beating Florida State 23-13 on Saturday. Ohio State (9-0) had 26 first-place votes and 1,460 points. The defending national champions have been first since the preseason, when they became the first team to be a unanimous preseason No. 1 in the 79-year history of the AP rankings.
No. 3 Alabama (8-1) climbed four spots and got two first-place votes after beating LSU on Saturday. No. 4 Baylor also received two first-place votes heading into Saturday's game against No. 12 Oklahoma.
TCU, which began the season No. 2, dropped eight spots to No. 13.
The Crimson Tide, who visit No. 20 Mississippi State this week, were one of four SEC schools to be ranked -- the conference's lowest representation since the final poll of the 2009 season. There were 10 SEC schools ranked after the first poll of this season.
The Big Ten currently leads the way with six schools in the rankings, followed by the SEC, Big 12 and the American Athletic Conference, which also has four.
Among the four AAC schools is No. 22 Navy, which upended unbeaten Memphis 45-20 and is ranked for the first time since the final 2004 poll. It is the first time that the Midshipmen (7-1) have been ranked during the regular season since October 1979.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.