Alabama and Clemson were the top two teams at the end of the 2015 football season and the AP ranks the Crimson Tide and the Tigers 1-2 in its pre-season poll for 2016.
The Tide received 33 first place votes to 16 for the Tigers. Oklahoma, a national semi-finalist last season, is third in the poll and Clemson’s ACC rival Florida State is ranked fourth.
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.
AP 2016 Pre-Season Football Poll
|1||Alabama (0-0)||1469 (33)||NR|
|2||Clemson (0-0)||1443 (16)||NR|
|3||Oklahoma (0-0)||1352 (4)||NR|
|4||Florida State (0-0)||1325 (5)||NR|
|5||LSU (0-0)||1269 (1)||NR|
|6||Ohio State (0-0)||1224 (1)||NR|
|7||Michigan (0-0)||1147 (1)||NR|
|10||Notre Dame (0-0)||1006||NR|
|11||Ole Miss (0-0)||718||NR|
|12||Michigan State (0-0)||710||NR|
|21||Oklahoma State (0-0)||316||NR|
|22||North Carolina (0-0)||283||NR|