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Clemson tops preseason AP poll, 4 Big 12 schools crack Top 25

Reigning national runner-up Clemson, as expected, opens the season as the favorite to win the national championship

TEMPLE, Texas — The Clemson Tigers, as expected, open the 2020 college football season as the AP's favorite to win the national championship in the strangest season in the sport's history.

The Associated Press released its preseason rankings Monday ahead of the altered 2020 college football season. The rankings included Big Ten and Pac 12 teams after those two conferences announced they would postpone their fall sports seasons.

Four Big 12 schools cracked the Top 25, as well, led by Oklahoma at No. 5. Texas A&M also made it as the long non-Big 12 Texas school.

Rank - Team - 2019 record (* = 2020 season postponed):

  1. Clemson - 14-1
  2. Ohio State* - 13-1
  3. Alabama - 11-2
  4. Georgia - 12-2
  5. Oklahoma - 12-2
  6. LSU - 15-0
  7. Penn State* - 11-2
  8. Florida - 11-2
  9. Oregon* - 12-2
  10. Notre Dame - 11-2
  11. Auburn - 9-4
  12. Wisconsin* - 10-4
  13. Texas A&M - 8-5
  14. Texas - 8-5
  15. Oklahoma State - 8-5
  16. Michigan* - 9-4
  17. USC* - 8-5
  18. North Carolina - 7-6
  19. Minnesota* - 11-2
  20. Cincinnati - 11-3
  21. UCF - 10-3
  22. Utah* - 11-3
  23. Iowa State - 7-6
  24. Iowa* - 10-3
  25. Tennessee - 8-5

Memphis was the top vote-getter outside the Top 25. Baylor, TCU and SMU all received votes in the AP Poll, as well.

Four schools got first-place votes, with Clemson getting 38, Ohio State 21, Alabama 2 and LSU the remaining vote.

Alongside the Pac 12 and Big Ten, the Mountain West and MAC postponed fall sports. From those conferences, Boise State and Air Force were the lone vote-getters with neither cracking the Top 25.

This week was originally supposed to be Week Zero of the season, but all three games (Marshall at East Carolina, Idaho State at New Mexico and UC-Davis at Nevada) have been either postponed or canceled. The season will now open Thurs. Sept. 3rd with a pair of Group-of-5 conference games, when UAB hosts Central Arkansas and Southern Miss hosts South Alabama.

The first matchtups on Texas soil are Sat. Sept. 5th:

  • Houston Baptist at North Texas - TBD
  • SMU at Texas State - 6 p.m. C.T.
  • Stephen F. Austin at UTEP - 8 p.m. C.T.

Big 12 schools won't play until Sept. 12th, when all 10 conference schools will play their home non-conference games before a bye week. Big 12 Conference play begins Sept. 26th.

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