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Clemson is Ranked #2 behind Alabama in Both the AP and Coaches Preseason Polls

The AP Preseason Poll was released on Sunday morning, and the top two spots match those of the Coaches' Poll and the final 2015 polls: Alabama #1 and Clemson #2. The Tigers' highest previous AP preseason ranking was #4.

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Alabama and Clemson finished the 2015 season at one and two, and that's exactly where they will begin the 2016 season in each of the preseason polls. The Tigers have Heisman Finalist and ACC Player of the Year Deshaun Watson back for his junior campaign, and they are poised to repeat their perfect 2015 regular season. The biggest test on the slate for the Tigers will be a Halloween weekend showdown in Tallahassee against ACC rival Florida State, which is ranked #4 in both preseason polls. It could very well be a #1 versus #2 matchup!

Clemson has history on its side, as the preseason #1 team has only won the national title 15.2% of the time since 1950. It has only occurred once since the 2000 season. The Tigers have also finished each season under Dabo Swinney ranked higher in the final Coaches' Poll than it was in the preseason. If that trend continues, Clemson will have its first National Championship since 1981! Click on the links below to see the full polls.

AP POLL

COACHES' POLL

Clemson, S.C.—Clemson is ranked second in the preseason Associated Press poll released on Sunday.   Clemson was also second in the Amway Coaches Poll released earlier in the month.

This is the highest preseason ranking in Clemson history in either of the major polls.  Clemson was fourth in the preseason poll by the Coaches and the Associated Press in 1988, and fourth by Associated Press in 1984.

This also marks the fifth straight year Clemson has been ranked in the preseason of both polls.  Clemson was 14th in the preseason of both polls in 2012, eighth in 2013, 16th in 2014 and 12th in the preseason last year.

Clemson, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State are the only schools in the country to finish in the top 25 of the final AP poll each of the last five years.  Dabo Swinney’s program is the only school in the nation to finish the same or better in the final poll than its preseason ranking each of the last five years.

The appearance in the preseason AP poll means Clemson has appeared  in 76 of the  last 83 AP polls (all polls since beginning of 2011 season), tied for fifth in the nation with Oregon.

Clemson received 16 first-place votes, the most first-place votes Clemson has received in the preseason.  The previous high was 11 in the 1984 preseason poll.  It is the first time since 1991 that Clemson has received any first place votes in the preseason poll.  Clemson had one that season.

 

2016 Preseason AP Poll

1. Alabama, 2.  Clemson, 3. Oklahoma, 4.  Florida State, 5.  LSU, 6.  Ohio State, 7.  Michigan, 8. Stanford, 9. Tennessee, 10.  Notre Dame, 11. Mississippi, 12. Michigan State, 13. TCU, 14. Washington, 15. Houston, 16. UCLA, 17. Iowa, 18. Georgia, 19. Louisville, 20. Southern California, 21. Oklahoma State, 22. North Carolina, 23. Baylor, 24. Oregon, 25. Florida.

 

2016 Preseason Amway Coaches Poll

1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3.  Oklahoma, 4.  Florida State, 5.  Ohio State, 6.  LSU, 7.  Stanford, 8. Michigan, 9.  Notre Dame, 10. Tennessee, 11. Michigan State, 12.  Mississippi, 13.  Houston, 14. TCU, 15.  Iowa, 16. Georgia, 17.   Southern California, 18. Washington, 19. Oklahoma State, 20.  North Carolina, 21. Baylor, 22. Oregon, 23. Louisville, 24.  UCLA, 25.  Florida.


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