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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | August 19, 2021

College football rankings: Alabama is No. 1 in 2021 preseason AP Top 25 poll

Preseason AP football poll: Breaking down the first 2021 rankings

For the 131th week in school history, reigning national champion Alabama is No. 1 in the AP poll, which leads all FBS programs. The top-ranked Crimson Tide is joined by several familiar names atop the preseason AP Top 25 poll.

No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Georgia — each of whom has appeared in the College Football Playoff at least once — round out the top five.

Here's the complete preseason AP Top 25 poll.

Preseason AP Top 25 Poll

RANK

school (first-place vOtes)

POINTS

2020 RECORD

1 Alabama (47) 1,548 13-0
2 Oklahoma (6) 1,462 9-2
3 Clemson (6) 1,447 10-2
4 Ohio State (1) 1,393 7-1
5 Georgia (3) 1,364 8-2
6 Texas A&M 1,223 9-1
7 Iowa State 1,160 9-3
8 Cincinnati 1,014 9-1
9 Notre Dame 1,009 10-2
10 North Carolina 999 8-4
11 Oregon 968 4-3
12 Wisconsin 743 4-3
13 Florida 728 8-4
14 Miami 663 8-3
15 USC 660 5-1
16 LSU 631 5-5
17 Indiana 549 6-2
18 Iowa 513 6-2
19 Penn State 456 4-5
20 Washington 449 3-1
21 Texas 350 7-3
22 Coastal Carolina 232 11-1
23 Louisiana 208 10-1
24 Utah 176 3-2
25 Arizona State 125 2-2

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma State 107, Ole Miss 106, TCU 40, Liberty 36, Auburn 32, NC State 14, Michigan 12, Northwestern 8, Boise State 7, Nevada 7, BYU 6, Ball State 6, Houston 5, Boston College 5, UCF 5, West Virginia 3, UAB 2, Army 2, UCLA 2

Most weeks ranked No. 1

Here are the 10 FBS programs that have spent the most weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP poll since 1936, according to collegepollarchive.com.

school weeks ranked No. 1
Alabama 131
Ohio State 105
Oklahoma 101
Notre Dame 98
USC 91
Florida State 72
Nebraska 70
Miami (FL) 68
Texas 45
Florida 41

Playoff performers peak in poll

Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson and Ohio State have combined for 20 of the 28 College Football Playoff appearances and six of the seven national championships during the CFP era. Those teams are the top four in the preseason AP poll with Georgia, the national runner-up during the 2017 season, checking in at No. 5.

Texas A&M, which went 9-1 last season and finished at No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, is the highest-ranked team in the preseason AP poll (No. 6) that has never made the playoff.

Non-conference and early season matchups to watch

No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia will meet in Charlotte on Saturday, Sept. 4 in a top-five matchup between two College Football Playoff hopefuls.

Here are some other non-confernece and early season games to watch between top 25 teams:

  • Sept. 4: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami
  • Sept. 4: No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa
  • Sept. 4: No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin
  • Sept. 4: No. 23 Louisiana at No. 21 Texas
  • Sept. 11: No. 11 Oregon at No. 4 Ohio State
  • Sept. 11: No. 18 Iowa at No. 7 Iowa State
  • Sept. 18: No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 17 Indiana
  • Oct. 2: No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 9 Notre Dame

Here's how the 2020 preseason poll turned out

Here's how the teams ranked in the 2020 preseason AP Top 25 finished last season.

2020 Preseason rank Team Final record Final 2020 ranking
No. 1 Clemson 10-2 No. 3
No. 2 Ohio State 7-1 No. 2
No. 3 Alabama 13-0 No. 1
No. 4 Georgia 8-2 No. 7
No. 5 Oklahoma 9-2 No. 6
No. 6 LSU 5-5 NR
No. 7 Penn State 4-5 NR
No. 8 Florida 8-4 No. 13
No. 9 Oregon 4-3 NR
No. 10 Notre Dame 10-2 No. 5
No. 11 Auburn 6-5 NR
No. 12 Wisconsin 4-3 NR
No. 13 Texas A&M 9-1 No. 4
No. 14 Texas 7-3 No. 19
No. 15 Oklahoma State 8-3 No. 20
No. 16 Michigan 2-4 NR
No. 17 USC 5-1 No. 21
No. 18 North Carolina 8-4 No. 18
No. 19 Minnesota 3-4 NR
No. 20 Cincinnati 9-1 No. 8
No. 21 UCF 6-4 NR
No. 22 Utah 3-2 NR
No. 23 Iowa State 9-3 No. 9
No. 24 Iowa 6-2 No. 16
No. 25 Tennessee 3-7 NR

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