Clemson 15th in AP Preseason poll

Clemson is ranked 15th in the nation in the Associated Press preseason college football poll. The ranking was released Saturday afternoon. Clemson is one of five ACC teams ranked in the top 25 by the poll.

Florida State is the highest ranked ACC team with a number-five rating, while new ACC member Miami (FL) is sixth. Clemson must play both of those teams on the road this year. Clemson is the third highest rated ACC team with its #15 rating, and is followed by Virginia at 16 and Maryland at 22.

In July, Clemson was ranked 16th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coach's poll.

This is the 19th season Clemson has been ranked in the AP preseason poll, the first time since 2001 when the Tigers were 18th. The number-15 ranking is Clemson's highest in a preseason poll since 1992 when the Tigers were 13th.

Clemson's highest preseason ranking in history is #4 in 1988 and 1984.

Clemson has been ranked in the preseason 18 times prior to this year and has gone on to finish in the top 25 in 11 of those seasons. Once, in 1989, Clemson was ranked the same in the preseason and in the final poll (12th).

This is the third time under Tommy Bowden that Clemson has been ranked in the preseason of the Associated Press poll. The other years were 2000 (17th) and 2001 (18th). Clemson finished the 2003 season ranked 22nd in the final poll after it was unranked in the preseason. Clemson was not ranked in the top 25 in the preseason of 1981, the year Clemson went on to win the national championship.

"Preseason polls don't mean that much to me because it is so early in the season," said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "The polls this time of the year are for the fans, the media, etc. But, it is good to have Clemson's name in the rankings.

"There is an exposure value and it is never a negative to be mentioned with the elite teams in the nation. But, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about polls this time of the year, and I haven't mentioned it to the team during the preseason. It certainly is a goal at the end of the season. It was a motivation for our team in the bowl game last year."

Associated Press Preseason Top 25 1. Southern Cal, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Georgia, 4. LSU, 5. Florida State, 6. Miami (FL), 7. Texas, 8. Michigan, 9. Ohio State, 10. West Virginia, 11. Florida, 12. Kansas State, 13. California, 14. Tennessee, 15. Clemson, 16. Virginia, 17. Auburn, 18. Missouri, 19. Iowa, 20. Utah, 21. Wisconsin, 22. Maryland, 23. Oregon, 24. Purdue, 25. Minnesota

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