Amway Preseason College Football Rankings 2019: Top 25 Coaches Poll Released

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2019

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pose with the trophy at a news conference for the NCAA college football playoff championship game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The first Amway Coaches Poll of the 2019 college football season was released Thursday by USA Today, with the reigning champion Clemson Tigers taking the No. 1 preseason ranking.

Clemson was followed by the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, Oklahoma Sooners and Ohio State Buckeyes in the top five.

Here's a look at the complete Top 25:

1. Clemson (59 first-place votes)

2. Alabama (6)

3. Georgia

4. Oklahoma

5. Ohio State

6. LSU

7. Michigan

8. Florida

9. Notre Dame

10. Texas

11. Texas A&M

12. Washington

13. Oregon

14. Penn State

15. Utah

16. Auburn

T-17. Wisconsin

T-17. UCF

19. Iowa

20. Michigan State

21. Washington State

22. Syracuse

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23. Stanford

24. Iowa State

25. Northwestern

Although Clemson is the defending College Football Playoff champion and return superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence, there will be several changes elsewhere in the starting lineup, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney explained the building process involved when it comes to getting inexperienced players up to championship speed:

"We're a true work in progress. If you look at our roster we've got 120 on the roster and 80 of them are freshmen and sophomores... There's a lot to teach. It's our job to meet them where they are. It's not their job to come to us. We've got to meet them where they are in their developmental process as a person, as a player, strength and conditioning, whatever it may be. When you have a team like this it's gotta be a little more coach-led in certain cases."

Clemson faces a Power 5 opponent right off the bat as it opens the regular season Aug. 29 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. That's followed by clashes with the Texas A&M Aggies and Syracuse Orange, so the Tigers' new contributors will need to hit the ground running.

Meanwhile, their rivals from Alabama are in pretty much the same position as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will attempt to lead a roster filled with returning starters and high-end prospects back into contention for the national title.

"We're all looking forward to having another shot at playing in the national championship and hopefully winning one, but we'll just have to see, you know?" Tagovailoa told the SEC Network. "We'll have to take it from when camp starts all the way to the end of the season."

Ultimately, it comes as no surprise to see Clemson and Alabama enter another season as the oddsmakers' favorites, but there are enough question marks for other teams to end the four-year streak of either the Tigers or Tide taking home the national championship.  

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