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Clemson ranked No. 1 in unusual AP preseason top 25

Clemson ranked No. 1 in unusual AP preseason top 25


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Clemson topped an unusual preseason Associated Press Top 25 in a quite unusual year already on Monday.

The AP chose to have its pollsters rank the 25-best out of all 130 FBS teams despite two Power 5 conferences and four FBS conferences total postponing their seasons to the spring. The next AP weekly ranking will only include teams playing in the fall, however.

Clemson garnered 38 first-place votes to No. 2 Ohio State's 21, with Alabama next (2) then Georgia and Oklahoma.

It’s a second-straight season Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have been preseason No. 1 with the AP, after being ranked in the top spot preseason for the first time last year. Clemson is the sixth program since the inception of the preseason poll in 1950 ever to open consecutive preseason polls at No. 1, joining Alabama (2016-18), USC (2004-05), Oklahoma (1985-87, 1974-75, 1956-57), Ohio State (1969-70) and Notre Dame (1953-54).

Prior to Clemson's No. 1 ranking last preseason, the program's previous preseason high had been second, the preseason rank held by both the 2016 and 2018 squads that would each go on to earn the national championship. By virtue of a second straight preseason No. 1 ranking, Clemson's preseason perch this year marks the seventh Top 5 preseason ranking in the AP Poll in school history, including 1984 (No. 4), 1988 (4), 2016 (2), 2017 (5), 2018 (2) and 2019 (1).

Clemson has now been ranked in the AP Top 25 in the preseason in nine consecutive years, the longest such stretch in school history. The Tigers garnered a Top 25 preseason ranking from the AP in eight consecutive years under three different head coaches across the 1987-94 seasons.

New ACC member Notre Dame checked in at No. 10 Monday and North Carolina was ranked 18th.

Clemson remained No. 1 in a USA TODAY re-rank of the 76 FBS teams left also on Monday, where Alabama was No. 2, Georgia No. 3 and Oklahoma No. 4. Out of the ACC, Notre Dame (5) and North Carolina (10) were top-10 teams.

AP Top 25 preseason

1 Clemson (14-1) 2 ACC 1,520 (38)

2 * Ohio State (13-1) 3 Big Ten 1,504 (21)

3 Alabama (11-2) 8 SEC 1,422 (2)

4 Georgia (12-2) 4 SEC 1,270

5 Oklahoma (12-2) 7 Big 12 1,269

6 LSU (15-0) 1 SEC 1,186 (1)

7 * Penn State (11-2) 9 Big Ten 1,147

8 Florida (11-2) 6 SEC 1,125

9 * Oregon (12-2) 5 Pac-12 1,119

10 Notre Dame (11-2) 12 IA Independents 995

11 Auburn (9-4) 14 SEC 852

12 * Wisconsin (10-4) 11 Big Ten 840

13 Texas A&M (8-5) SEC 764

14 Texas (8-5) 25 Big 12 703

15 Oklahoma State (8-5) Big 12 672

16 * Michigan (9-4) 18 Big Ten 611

17 * USC (8-5) Pac-12 534

18 North Carolina (7-6) ACC 496

19 * Minnesota (11-2) 10 Big Ten 451

20 Cincinnati (11-3) 21 American Athletic 234

21 UCF (10-3) 24 American Athletic 229

22 * Utah (11-3) 16 Pac-12 211

23 Iowa State (7-6) Big 12 199

24 * Iowa (10-3) 15 Big Ten 134

25 Tennessee (8-5) SEC 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

* Season postponed to spring.

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