CLEMSON, SC - As expected, the Tigers are No.1 again! The Preseason AP Poll was released on Monday, and for the second straight year, Clemson is No.1 after making its preseason No.1 debut last year. A few weeks ago, the Tigers were also voted preseason No.1 in the Coaches' Poll for the second straight year. Despite the fact that the Big Ten and Pac-12 are not playing this fall, the AP included those teams, as promised. Ohio State is currently in the No.2 spot with Alabama No.3. It will be interesting to see how long those teams remain in the poll. If Clemson loses, will Ohio State jump up to No.1 without ever playing a game?
With the No.1 ranking, Dabo Swinney joined an elite club on Monday as one of just three coaches in history to have his team ranked No.1 in 6 straight seasons. The others are Nick Saban, of course, and Notre Dame legend Frank Leahy, who also did it 6 years in a row. There's a very good chance that next year Dabo will join Nick Saban as the only ones to do it in 7 straight seasons.
Click the link below for the full AP Poll!
CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers will enter the 2020 football season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll, which was released on Monday. It marks Clemson's second straight season opening atop the poll and represents Clemson's second No. 1 selection among major polls this preseason, matching its No. 1 ranking in the 2020 preseason Coaches Poll.
Clemson becomes 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). Clemson's 1,520 points and 38 first-place votes this year topped each category, as all teams — including ones who will not play this fall — were eligible for votes.
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.
Prior to last year, Clemson had met or exceeded its preseason ranking in the final AP poll in each of its previous eight seasons. Head Coach Dabo Swinney's eight-year streak from 2011-18 was the longest by a coach in college football history. Swinney now joins Nick Saban (12) as the only coach in AP Poll history (since 1936) to lead a team to at least one No. 1 ranking in six consecutive years, and Clemson joins Alabama (12 from 2008-19) and Miami (seven from 1986-92) as the only programs to appear at No. 1 in at least six consecutive years.
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