CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Clemson No. 1, two opponents in USA TODAY post-spring top 25

Clemson No. 1, two opponents in USA TODAY post-spring top 25


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Clemson moved up to No. 1 in USA TODAY's early preseason college football rankings after spring ball's conclusion.

"It's all sunshine and rainbows in the wake of the program's latest national championship," USA TODAY writer Paul Myerberg said. "Not that everything is peachy: Clemson lost wide receiver Amari Rodgers to an ACL tear in March, potentially robbing the offense of an all-conference weapon. Rodgers is a good one, but I think Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers will be OK."

Alabama completes the usual top-two, while the top-5 is rounded out by Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

The first Tigers opponent checks in at No. 8 in Sept. 7 home opponent Texas A&M.

"The Aggies have a ceiling as high as the College Football Playoff," Myerberg wrote, "though the program might not be ready to take that leap in Jimbo Fisher's second season. A&M needs to improve its pass defense after a lackluster 2018, addressing those concerns by signing one of the nation's top secondary classes in December and February."

Unlike some post-spring rankings, this one featured multiple ACC teams, with week three foe Syracuse at No. 23.

Dabo Swinney's Tigers were also ranked No. 1 in CBS and Sports Illustrated early preseason rankings.

Clemson opens its 2019 campaign at home versus Georgia Tech on Thursday, Aug. 29 (ACC Network).

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