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Clemson ranked 1st in preseason AP football poll

The Clemson Tigers become just the sixth program to be ranked number one in the preseason in back-to-back years.

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers will be ranked number one going into what will be one of the most unusual seasons in college football history.

The Associated Press released their preseason ranked with the Tigers on top. It's the second straight year Clemson has been atop the poll going into the year. They're now just one of six programs ever to be ranked number one in consecutive years. 

The Tigers were also ranked first in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Clemson was followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma to round out the top five. Ohio State and the other teams from conferences that have suspended their seasons will not be eligible for the poll going forward. 

RELATED: Clemson ranked number 1 in preseason coaches poll

Clemson will open the season at Wake Forest on Sept. 12 prior to returning to Death Valley for its home opener against The Citadel on Sept. 19.

The Tigers have arguably the nation's top quarterback in junior Trevor Lawrence. The also return ACC Player of the Year and running back Travis Etienne, who decided to come back for his senior season instead of going to the NFL as most assumed he would. They're also loaded on defense again. 

RELATED: Clemson will host The Citadel on September 19

Add to that a recruiting class ranked second in the nation by Rivals.com, featuring multiple five-star recruits, and the Tigers could be primed for another undefeated regular season. 

Prior to Clemson's No. 1 ranking last preseason, the program's previous preseason high had been second, the preseason rank held by both the 2016 and 2018 squads that would each go on to earn the national championship. By virtue of a second straight preseason No. 1 ranking, Clemson's preseason perch this year marks the seventh Top 5 preseason ranking in the AP Poll in school history, including 1984 (No. 4), 1988 (4), 2016 (2), 2017 (5), 2018 (2) and 2019 (1).

Clemson has now been ranked in the AP Top 25 in the preseason in nine consecutive years, the longest such stretch in school history. The Tigers garnered a Top 25 preseason ranking from the AP in eight consecutive years under three different head coaches across the 1987-94 seasons.