For the first time in its history, Clemson football is the preseason No. 1 in the AP Poll. On Monday, the defending national champion Tigers debuted in the top spot.
Alabama is No. 2, making it the first time the Crimson Tide aren't the preseason AP No. 1 since 2015. But Alabama has been ranked in the preseason top 5 every year since 2009. This week's AP Poll marks the 12th time Clemson has been No. 1, per collegepollarchive.com. Ten of those 12 No. 1 ranks have come since 2015.
Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State round out the top 5. The top 10 then continues with LSU at No. 6 followed by Michigan, Florida, Notre Dame and Texas.
AP Poll: Preseason Top 25
Ohio State holds the record for most appearances in the preseason AP Poll. This year is the Buckeyes' 66th time in the first poll of the season, as they haven't missed a spot in the preseason poll since 1988. Oklahoma is second with 61 appearances, though the Sooners have the most preseason No. 1 ranks with 10 (most recently in 2003). The AP first released a preseason poll in 1950.
Last season, Alabama ranked first in every AP Poll except the last. With Clemson routing the Tide in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, 44-16, the Tigers moved to No. 1 and won their third national title.
Here's how the AP Poll looked every week during the 2018 season:
Since the AP Poll released a preseason raking ahead of the 1950 season, Alabama has appeared in the top spot a nation-best 118 times. 'Bama has picked up 83 of those appearances since 2008 under Nick Saban.
Follow our tracker for teams with the most weeks at No. 1 from 1950 through the 2019 preseason poll.
Here's how the 2018 AP Preseason Top 25 finished last season. Team in bold improved on their preseason ranking:
|2018 Preseason rank||Team||Final record||Final 2018 ranking|
|No. 1||Alabama||14-1||No. 2|
|No. 2||Clemson||15-0||No. 1|
|No. 3||Georgia||11-3||No. 7 (t)|
|No. 5||Ohio State||13-1||No. 3|
|No. 6||Washington||10-4||No. 13|
|No. 7||Oklahoma||12-2||No. 4|
|No. 10||Penn State||9-4||No. 17|
|No. 11||Michigan State||7-6||NR|
|No. 12||Notre Dame||12-1||No. 5|
|No. 14||Michigan||10-3||No. 14|
|No. 15||Southern California||5-7||NR|
|No. 17||West Virginia||8-4||No. 20|
|No. 18||Mississippi State||8-5||NR|
|No. 19||Florida State||5-7||NR|
|No. 20||Virginia Tech||6-7||NR|
|No. 21||UCF||12-1||No. 11|
|No. 22||Boise State||10-3||No. 23|
|No. 23||Texas||10-4||No. 9|
|No. 25||LSU||10-3||No. 6|