The preseason version of the AP Top 25 College Football Poll was released on Monday, and there will be guaranteed movement in the next edition. AP asked voters to consider all college football programs in their rankings, including ones that aren’t playing this season.

Clemson football AP Top 25 College Football Poll
Clemson was voted No. 1 in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll, which was released on Monday. (Image: Sideline Carolina)

There are just 67 of 130 FBS teams planning on playing football this fall. Of the teams in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll, nine have announced they aren’t playing football this season. Clemson, who is playing, was voted the No. 1 team.

Preseason AP Top 25 College Football Poll

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

* Indicates not playing in the fall

Michael Giarrusso, AP global sports editor, said the inclusion of teams that aren’t playing was planned. He said the organization will have a separate poll if programs that aren’t playing in the fall decide to play in the spring.

“The preseason poll has always been a speculative ranking of teams based on last year’s results and knowledge about the new makeup of teams,” Giarrusso said. “This year, we think it is crucial to give all the teams and all their fans a snapshot look at what the Top 25 would have been to open the season.”

Movement Expected in Poll

Because six ranked teams from the Big Ten, and three from the Pac-12 aren’t playing, they will drop out of the AP Top 25 College Football Poll after the season’s first week. The first games for those conferences that are playing take place on Thursday, Sept. 3. Memphis, who was 26th, is hosting Arkansas State two days later.

If Memphis wins, they might break into Week 1 of the poll since no other ranked teams are playing that week, and nine teams will be automatically dropped.

No ranked team is playing until Week 2 on Sept. 12. Clemson (No. 1), Oklahoma (No. 5), Notre Dame (No. 10), Texas (No. 14), Oklahoma State (No. 15), North Carolina (No. 18), and Iowa State (No. 23) all have games on that Saturday.

Alabama’s Saban Defends Playing

The SEC, which has seven teams in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll, is playing a 10-game, conference-only schedule beginning on Sept. 25. Alabama and Georgia, who are currently ranked three and four, respectively, could get leapfrogged by No. 5 Oklahoma before they take the field.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban told reporters on Monday that he’s in favor of having a season if it can be done safely. He also said he’s in favor of having some type of college football commissioner.

“I look at it as if it’s important that we have something or someone, some organizational body who can bring everybody together,” Saban said. “And I don’t know if that’s a commissioner, if it’s some council. I don’t know if it’s a committee someplace. I really don’t know the best way to do that. But I do think that it would benefit college football if the five major conferences could always sort of come together on what’s best for college football. I’m not saying they don’t all have those intentions. They do. But sometimes they don’t all sort of marry up, which is kind of the situation that we have this year.”

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