Clemson took the top spot for the second year in a row in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll preseason rankings for a 2020 college football season that's going to look and feel a lot different amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 started to reshape the upcoming campaign in early July when they announced the decision to play conference-only schedules. The other Power Five conferences have followed with their own plans, while some smaller conferences are waiting as long as possible to determine the best path forward.
Here's a look at the complete preseason Top 25, via USA Today:
1. Clemson (38 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State (17)
3. Alabama (4)
5. LSU (6)
7. Penn State
10. Notre Dame
13. Texas A&M
16. Oklahoma State
19. North Carolina
24. Virginia Tech
25. Iowa State
From the oddsmakers' perspective, there are four teams that stand above the rest with a betting line below 10-1 heading into the season, per Caesars Palace:
- Clemson (+250; bet $100 to win $250)
- Ohio State (+300)
- Alabama (+500)
- Georgia (+700)
Reigning national champion LSU, fifth in the poll, checks in at +1800 after Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow headlined the group of departures to the NFL.
The outlook for the 2020 season can still shift dramatically as the NCAA, conferences and schools set guidelines on how to best handle the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, and many college players could follow their professional counterparts in deciding to opt out for health reasons.
Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley became the first high-profile prospect to declare his intention to skip the campaign. He's a potential first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
That shroud of uncertainty may never be fully lifted throughout the season as teams take the week-to-week mentality to new heights because of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the national championship chase continues, and the Coaches Poll provided an initial glimpse at the teams expected to challenge for College Football Playoff berths in the months ahead.