The NCAA released the results today from the first round of voting in the coaches poll to determine the top 25 football teams. CBS Sports reported that Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama came away with the top three slots. While the status of the college football season hangs in limbo as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the news gives fans something to temporarily distract them from that fact.
The Clemson Tigers are expected to have another stellar year in 2020 after the program came one win away from being crowned College Football Playoff champions in January. As such, they received a total of 38 first-place votes in the poll. The Tigers are led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, considered by many to be the jewel of the 2021 NFL draft.
The school that beat Clemson in the title game was LSU, who opens up as the fifth ranked program. But while they accomplished that feat last season, repeating may prove difficult for Louisiana State as the Tigers had 14 of its players selected by professional teams in the 2020 NFL Draft. Notable departures include quarterback Joe Burrow, linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, linebacker Patrick Queen, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, all of whom were chosen in the first round.
Coming in at No. 2 was Ohio State, who lost to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl last season. The Buckeyes did however win the Big Ten Championship game and will be looking to build on that as they make a run to be national champions in 2020. Ohio State will see the return of many of its starters on the offensive side of the ball. However, the team will have some holes to fill on defense after three Buckeye defenders were drafted in the first round, including defensive end Chase Young, who went second overall to the Washington Football Team.
The third ranked team according to the coaches poll was Alabama, who will be looking for redemption in 2020 after not being invited to participate in the College Football Playoffs for the first time since the tournament’s inaugural year in 2014. Similar to the case of LSU, the Crimson Tide will be tasked with revamping one side of the ball more than the other in order to compete at a high level. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tackle Jedrick Wills, and wideout Henry Ruggs were all drafted in the first round back in April.
Other programs rounding out the top ten include Georgia, Oklahoma, Penn State, Florida, Oregon, and Notre Dame. Iowa State just barely snuck onto the list, coming in at No. 25.