When the initial Associated Press preseason poll came out last week, many people were left scratching their heads. Not because defending champion LSU came in at No. 6, but because teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 were included, despite having their seasons postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As it turns out, the votes for the poll were cast long before the conferences made the decision not to play this fall, so there was no good way to re-rank the poll. Now that we know who will—and won't—be playing football this fall, we're re-ranking ahead of the new AP poll dropping.
6. Notre Dame
9. Texas A&M
11. Oklahoma State
12. North Carolina
15. Iowa State
18. Virginia Tech
19. Miami (FL)
24. Appalachian State
No Chase For Tigers
One of the biggest developments between last week's poll and this one came out of Baton Rouge, where LSU star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is opting out of the 2020 season, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.
Chase, who is considered by most draft experts to be the top available receiver in the 2021 draft class, was a unanimous First Team All-America selection last season. His 20 touchdown catches and 1,780 receiving yards were SEC records, and he won the Biletnikoff Award given annually to the nation's best receiver, beating out Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and USC's Michael Pittman Jr.
The Tigers, who will already be breaking in a new quarterback after Heisman winner Joe Burrow was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cincinnati Browns, will now be without one of the nation's most electric playmakers. Even though no games have been played between last week's poll and this week's, it's hard to see the Tigers not taking a bit of a dive now that Chase is out of the lineup.
Memphis Loses Gainwell to Opt-Out
Sunday night, more big news came out of Memphis, with running back Kenny Gainwell choosing to opt out of the 2020 season to focus on preparation for the draft, according to 247Sports' Christian Fowler.
In 2019, Gainwell racked up an eye-popping 2,069 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns for a Memphis squad that finished 12-2 and lost a shootout to Penn State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl.
The Tigers still return quarterback Brady White, who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns last season, as well as wideout Damonte Coxie, who caught 76 passes for 1,276 yards and nine touchdowns. They'll now rely on reserves Rodrigues Clark, Asa Martin, Kylan Watkins to fill Gainwell's role in Memphis' high-powered offense.
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