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AP Poll: Clemson No. 1 in preseason top-25; ASU receives trio of votes

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates in the final seconds of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, in Santa Clara, Calif. For the first time, the defending national champion Tigers are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Arizona State Sun Devils received three votes in the Associated Press top-25 preseason college football poll, which was released Monday.

ASU’s rival, the Arizona Wildcats, earned a single vote in the rankings, which were topped by the defending national champion Clemson Tigers.

Five Pac-12 teams ranked in the poll, highlighted by the No. 11 Oregon Ducks.

Washington (13), Utah (14), Washington State (23) and Stanford (25) all made the top-25. Arizona State, Arizona and USC (one vote) were the other conference teams who received at least a vote in the 2019 season’s initial rankings.

The Big Ten led all conferences with seven teams to make the top-25, while the SEC placed six teams in the preseason poll.

For the first time, the defending national champion Tigers are No. 1 after winning the program’s second national title in three seasons behind freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence in January. Clemson now can claim equal standing with the Alabama Crimson Tide at the top of the sport.

The Crimson Tide, coming off a 44-16 loss in the College Football Playoff championship, is No. 2. Clemson received 52 first-place votes and Alabama received the other 10 from the media. Clemson snaps a record-tying string of three straight years in which Alabama was preseason No. 1.

Georgia, Alabama’s Southeastern Conference rival, is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5

The Tigers enter 2019 with a 15-game winning streak and eight straight double-digit victory seasons. Since 2015, when they lost the national championship game to Alabama, the Tigers are 55-4.

Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty, with five national titles in a 10-year span, has finally met its match. The Tide is also 55-4 in the last four seasons.

Clemson and Alabama have split the last four national championships, played in the last four playoffs and are poised to make it five straight. This will be the third time since 2016 the Tigers and Tide have started the season Nos. 1 and 2 in the Top 25. Beginning with 2015, when Alabama and Clemson occupied the top two spots in the last four AP polls of the season, the Tide and Tigers have been Nos. 1 and 2 in some order 22 times.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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