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Wayne Staats, Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | August 31, 2020

Clemson, Ohio State lead preseason AP college football rankings

5 ACC teams to watch in 2020

Clemson is starting No. 1. Again.

The Tigers are the AP Poll's preseason No. 1 team for the second year in a row, as Clemson received 38 of a possible 62 first-place votes. Last year was the first time Clemson opened in the top spot in AP Poll history.

After Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma round out the top five. Alabama is in the preseason top five for the 12th consecutive season. Defending national champion LSU is No. 6 in the poll.

No matter what happens on the field, the next AP Poll this season will look different. Though voters were able to consider all Division I teams in the preseason poll, voters can only rank teams that are scheduled to play going forward. So teams in the Big Ten, Pac-12, MAC and Mountain West, along with other schools that aren't playing this fall because of COVID-19, will not be in the AP Poll the rest of the season.

AP Poll: Preseason Top 25

Rank Team 2019 record Points
1 Clemson 14-1 1,520 (38)
2 Ohio State 13-1 1,504 (21)
3 Alabama 11-2 1,422 (2)
4 Georgia 12-2 1,270
5 Oklahoma 12-2 1,269
6 LSU 15-0 1,186 (1)
7 Penn State 11-2 1,147
8 Florida 11-2 1,125
9 Oregon 12-2 1,119
10 Notre Dame 11-2 995
11 Auburn 9-4 852
12 Wisconsin 10-4 840
13 Texas A&M 8-5 764
14 Texas 8-5 703
15 Oklahoma State 8-5 672
16 Michigan 9-4 611
17 USC 8-5 534
18 North Carolina 7-6 496
19 Minnesota 11-2 451
20 Cincinnati 11-3 234
21 UCF 10-3 229
22 Utah 11-3 211
23 Iowa State 7-6 199
24 Iowa 10-3 134
25 Tennessee 8-5 133

Others receiving votes: Memphis 86, Virginia Tech 85, Boise State 68, Arizona State 66, Miami (FL) 42, Louisville 32, Appalachian State 26, Washington 21, Kentucky 20, Indiana 19, Baylor 15, California 11, TCU 9, Virginia 7, Navy 6, Florida State 6, SMU 3, Mississippi State 3, Air Force 3, Northwestern 1, UAB 1

Since the AP Poll first released a preseason poll in 1950, it has often included Ohio State. Though the Buckeyes will not play this fall along with the rest of the Big Ten, Ohio State's preseason ranking is the 67th in its history. The Buckeyes have been ranked in every preseason poll since 1989.

Last season, LSU began the year ranked No. 6 – the same as this season. The Tigers didn't reach No. 1 until it moved to 8-0 after beating top-10 Auburn 23-20 on Oct. 26. LSU remained No. 1 the rest of the season.

Since 1950, Alabama has been No. 1 more than anyone else — 122 times. Of those appearances, 87 have come since 2008 with coach Nick Saban.

Here's a look at which teams have been ranked No. 1 the most, from 1950 through the 2019 season.

 

 

Here's a look at the 2019 preseason poll and how each ranked team ended up. Teams in bold moved up from their preseason ranking:

2019 PRESEASON RANK TEAM FINAL RECORD FINAL 2019 RANKING
No. 1 Clemson 14-1 No. 2
No. 2 Alabama 11-2 No. 8
No. 3 Georgia 12-2 No. 4
No. 4 Oklahoma 12-2 No. 7
No. 5 Ohio State 13-1 No. 3
No. 6 LSU 15-0 No. 1
No. 7 Michigan 9-4 No. 18
No. 8 Florida 11-2 No. 6
No. 9 Notre Dame 11-2 No. 12
No. 10 Texas 8-5 No. 25
No. 11 Oregon 12-2 No. 5
No. 12 Texas A&M 8-5 NR
No. 13 Washington 8-5 NR
No. 14 Utah 11-3 No. 16
No. 15 Penn State 11-2 No. 9
No. 16 Auburn 9-4 No. 14
No. 17 UCF 10-3 No. 24
No. 18 Michigan State 7-6 NR
No. 19 Wisconsin 10-4 No. 11
No. 20 Iowa 10-3 No. 15
No. 21 Iowa State 7-6 NR
No. 22 Syracuse 5-7 NR
No. 23 Washington State 6-7 NR
No. 24 Nebraska 5-7 NR
No. 25 Stanford 4-8 No. 6

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