No surprise defending national champion Clemson is ranked in the top 5 of the Amway Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released by USA Today on Thursday.
The Tigers will begin the season ranked No. 5 in the poll, which will mark the second straight year they will begin a season ranked inside the top 10 in the coaches’ poll. The program has not done that since the Tigers were ranked in the top 10 in the first coaches’ poll in each season from 1987-’91.
This is the first time in Clemson history the Tigers started back-to-back seasons ranked in the top 5 of the coaches’ poll.
This is the third time in the last five years the Tigers will begin a new season ranked inside the top 10, regardless of which poll.
Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the poll after receiving 49 first place votes. Ohio State is No. 2 followed by Florida State at No. 3, Southern California is No. 4, while Clemson rounded out the top 5. The Tigers received seven first place votes, second to Alabama in the poll.
The ACC has five teams ranked in the poll and two in the top 5. Louisville (No. 17), Miami (No. 18) and Virginia Tech (No. 22) join FSU and Clemson in the poll. The SEC has six teams in the polled followed by the ACC and the Big Ten, who also has five. The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top 10, while the SEC only has one team (Alabama) in the top 11.
Clemson of course finished last season ranked No. 1 in the Amway/USA Today Coaches Poll after beating Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The Tigers opened the 2016 season as the preseason No. 2 ranked team behind the Crimson Tide.
By finishing No. 1 in the country, Clemson finished the season ranked higher than its preseason mark for a sixth consecutive year, an FBS record. Head coach Dabo Swinney is the first coach in the history of college football to own such a streak.
The Tigers begin fall practice later this afternoon, and will kick off the 2017 season on Sept. 2 against Kent State.
Amway/USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll
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