Memorial Day is still a week away, but the first the first preseason college football poll is already out. Athlon Magazine released its top 25 on its website on Monday, and the popular preseason college football magazine has Clemson ranked No. 7 in its preseason rankings.
The publication also predicts Florida State to finish No. 3 and has the Seminoles projected as the ACC Champions. Alabama is No. 1 in their poll, followed by Ohio State, FSU, Washington and Southern Cal to round out their top 5.
But despite putting the Tigers back to No. 7 in their rankings the magazine is still high on Clemson as well.
“The defending national champs are due for a small step back in the rankings in 2017. However, as the No. 7 ranking indicates, Clemson is still one of the top contenders to earn a spot in the CFB Playoff,” Athlon said in its top 25 roundup. “Considering the amount of talent leaving Death Valley – quarterback Deshaun Watson, receiver Mike Williams, linebacker Ben Boulware, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and running back Wayne Gallman – it’s a testament to the job Coach Dabo Swinney has done on the recruiting trail and in overall program development.”
In no surprise, the magazine did mention the Tigers’ Nov. 11 home against Florida State to be the deciding factor in the race to see who will represent the ACC Atlantic in the ACC Championship Game. The Clemson-FSU winner has played for the ACC Championship Game in each of the last eight years and has won the ACC in each of the last six years. The winner of that game has also been in all three College Football Playoff.
In all, five ACC teams are ranked in Athlon’s preseason poll. Besides Florida State and Clemson, other ACC teams ranked are Virginia Tech (25), Miami (23) and Louisville (18).
Athlon’s Preseason Top 10
- Alabama (Projected SEC and National Title Champion)
- Ohio State (Projected Big Ten Champion)
- Florida State (Projected ACC Champion)
- Washington (Projected Pac-12 Champion)
- Penn State
- Oklahoma (Projected Big 12 Champion)