The defending national champions will not start the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press’ Preseason College Football Poll, but Clemson is ranked inside the Top 5.
The Tigers debut at No. 5 in the writers’ poll, marking the 25th straight poll they have appeared inside the top 5 of the AP Poll, the longest such streak in the country. It is also a Clemson record.
Alabama is the preseason No. 1 ranked team for a second straight year. The Crimson Tide are followed by Ohio State at No. 2, Florida State at No. 3 and Southern Cal at No. 4.
Clemson was ranked No. 5 in the Amway Coaches Poll, which was released on Aug. 3, as well. Meaning the football program has been ranked in the top 5 in at least one of the two major polls 25 straight times.
The No. 5 ranking marks the third time in the last five years, the Tigers have opened the season ranked inside the top 5 of the preseason AP Top 25. Coupled with last year’s preseason No. 2 ranking, this is the first time in the program’s history, the Tigers have opened a new year ranked inside the top 5 in back-to-back years.
It also marks just the third time in school history, and the first time since 1991, the Clemson football program opened the season ranked inside the top 10 of the AP Poll in back-to-back seasons.
The other two times this occurred was in 1987 and 1988, as well as in 1990 and 1991. The AP started its preseason polls in 1950.
It is also the sixth straight year Clemson has debuted in the AP Preseason Poll, the longest such streak since 1987-’94 when the Clemson program recorded eight straight AP Preseason Top 25 rankings.
In all, the ACC has five teams ranked in top 25 preseason poll, second to the SEC’s six teams. Besides FSU and Clemson, Louisville comes in at No. 16, followed by Miami at No. 18 and Virginia Tech at No. 21. The Tigers play three of the other four ACC teams ranked in the preseason poll — Florida State, Louisville and Virginia Tech. They also play No. 12 Auburn.
Clemson plays Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech in the first month of the season.
Of course last year, the Tigers finished ranked No. 1 in the final AP Poll after beating Alabama in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Tampa, Fla. It marked the second national title for the Clemson football program and the first in 35 years.
Despite being the defending national champions, Clemson is the only top 5 team not to receive a first place vote. The Tigers received seven first place votes in the Coaches Poll, second to Alabama.
The Crimson Tide received 52 first place votes from the writers, while FSU had four followed by Ohio State with three and Southern Cal with 2.
Associated Press Preseason Top 25 Poll
|2||Ohio State (3)||11-2||1,414||6|
|3||Florida State (4)||10-3||1,396||8|
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