Preseason AP Top 25 College Football Rankings: Predicting The First Poll Of 2016

With the preseason AP top 25 college football rankings set to come out on Sunday, here’s a prediction of what the poll will look like, and how it will differ from the Coaches Poll.

What will the preseason AP top 25 look like when the college football rankings comes out on August 21st? How’s the poll going to be different from the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll?

There usually isn’t too much of a change between the two – it’s relatively easy up top to figure out which teams are the stars – but this year there’s a ton of uncertainty with no clear-cut No. 1 team.

How quickly will Alabama be able to replace its offensive backfield and reload on the defensive front?

Can Ohio State replace an NFL team full of talent and find the proper weapons to go around J.T. Barrett?

Will LSU live up to the hype, can Oklahoma crank the machine back up, and can Florida State play up to its talent level?

Knowing that the 2016 Coaches Poll went 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Florida State and 5. Ohio State, here are what will be the biggest differences in the preseason AP top 25 college football rankings.

Clemson will be No. 1

Alabama narrowly beat out Clemson for the top spot in the Coaches Poll – 1,585 points to 1,524 – thanks to a first-place vote blowout with the Crimson Tide getting 55 votes to 7 for the Tigers.

It’s not like the AP tries to be different and quirky – the AP voters do what the AP voters do – but the best guess is that Clemson will barely get the top spot because of Deshaun Watson. The experience factor will kick in with this set of preseason college football rankings.

Michigan will be ranked higher than Ohio State

Ohio State being ranked above Michigan in the Coaches Poll wasn’t totally stunning. However, the Buckeyes being fifth and the Wolverines eighth seemed a bit off considering the current climate and mood of the college football world.

It’s not going to be by a lot, but don’t be surprised when Michigan is ranked a bit higher, mainly because of the experience factor. Yeah, the Buckeyes have J.T. Barrett at quarterback, but the Wolverines are set everywhere else.

Boise State will slip into the top 25

In the Others Receiving Votes in the Coaches Poll, technically, Boise State was ranked 29th. For the Broncos to get into the preseason AP top 25, that means a very good team will have to slide out. That might be tough considering Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, UCLA and Florida were the bottom five in the Coaches top 25, but watch out for the Broncos to find their way past the preseason velvet rope.

No, the preseason AP top 25 isn’t going to be too crazy, but it’ll factor in the returning stars, the teams that look great in terms of national perception, and yeah, there’s regional bias that kicks in. So with that in mind, the best-guess on the AP preseason top 25 is …

Preseason AP Top 25 College Football Rankings Predictions

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Florida State
5. LSU
6. Michigan
7. Ohio State
8. Tennessee
9. Notre Dame
10. Stanford
11. Michigan State
12. USC
13. Georgia
14. Ole Miss
15. Houston
16. TCU
17. Washington
18. Iowa
19. Oregon
20. Florida
21. Louisville
22. Oklahoma State
23. North Carolina
24. UCLA
25. Boise State

MORE: 2016 Preseason College Football Rankings, No. 1-128