Polls & Rankings

Early AP Preseason College Football Rankings Projection

Sep 12, 2015; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes the ball during the first half against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 12, 2015; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes the ball during the first half against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports


What are the preseason AP college football rankings going to look like later this summer? Here’s an educated guess at what the top 25 will be.


The AP poll/rankings don’t really matter anymore.

They don’t have anything to do with the College Football Playoff, and they didn’t have anything to do with the BCS ever since USC got left out of the national title in 2003, but they’re still a good marking point and snapshot.

Started in 1936, the AP rankings have been the one constant to compare and contrast eras, and greatness. And now, in this new world when the CFP owns everything, the preseason AP poll is merely a fun exercise.

But people still care about the rankings, the programs make a big deal out of them, and again, it’s a good way to take the pulse of how people think about how good all the top teams are.

Usually, the AP voters go by three key things in the preseason poll. 1) What teams have the stars they know – especially at quarterback, 2) what teams were fantastic at the end of the previous season, and 3) which big names and big programs are close to being back to form.

Last year, Ohio State was the easy preseason choice, with TCU a relatively easy No. 2 and Alabama three. In 2014, having just missed out on the CFP, defending champ Florida State was No. 1, Alabama – after coming SO close in the kick-six loss to Auburn, was No. 2, while Oregon with Marcus Mariota back was third.

So with all that in mind, what’s the best guess on what the preseason AP rankings are going be? Here you go.

1. Clemson (Final AP Ranking: 2)

2. Alabama (Final AP Ranking: 1)

3. Michigan (Final AP Ranking: 12)

4. Florida State (Final AP Ranking: 14)

5. Oklahoma (Final AP Ranking: 5)

6. Ohio State (Final AP Ranking: 5)

7. LSU (Final AP Ranking: 16)

8. Notre Dame (Final AP Ranking: 11)

9. Tennessee (Final AP Ranking: 22)

10. Georgia (Final AP Ranking: 26)

11. Michigan State (Final AP Ranking: 6)

12. Baylor (Final AP Ranking: 13)

13. Oregon (Final AP Ranking: 19)

14. Houston (Final AP Ranking: 8)

15. Florida (Final AP Ranking: 25)

16. USC (Final AP Ranking: 32)

17. TCU (Final AP Ranking: 7)

18. Wisconsin (Final AP Ranking: 21)

19. Oklahoma State (Final AP Ranking: 20)

20. Stanford (Final AP Ranking: 3)

21. Iowa (Final AP Ranking: 9)

22. Ole Miss (Final AP Ranking: 10)

23. Louisville (Final AP Ranking: NR)

24. UCLA (Final AP Ranking: NR)

25. Nebraska (Final AP Ranking: NR)