What will the 2021 preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll potentially look like? It’s our predicted best guess on the early college football rankings.
Before getting started, note that below is NOT the actual 2021 Preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll – it’s our prediction and projection of what it might be.
The preseason college football polls might not mean what they used to, but they’re still fun, and they’re still a great indicator of the expectations going into a season.
Clemson was the preseason No. 1 team in the 2019 and 2020 Coaches Polls. Ohio State was No. 2 in 2020, Alabama third, Georgia fourth, and LSU fifth.
Where was Notre Dame? The eventual College Football Playoff team started out tenth, Texas A&M was 13th, and UCF (21st) and Cincinnati (22nd) were the only preseason ranked teams outside of the Power Five.
What will the 2021 preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll rankings look like? Considering how insane 2020 was – and how wild the final rankings were – this might be the most interesting preseason top 25 in a while.
This is usually a whole lot easier – this might look totally ridiculous once the real thing comes out considering all the teams outside of the norm likely to be in.
It’s our call based on historical precedent, returning talent, and guessing how the coaches are perceiving teams and big brand names compared to some of 2020’s surprise stars.
Once the 2021 preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll is released, we’ll break it all down and do a deep dive analysis.
2021 Preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll Prediction
Click each team for the CFN 2021 preview. Number in parentheses is where each team finished in final 2020 rankings.
25. Oklahoma State Cowboys (20)
24. Miami Hurricanes (22)
23. Michigan Wolverines (NR)
22. Liberty Flames (17)
21. Iowa Hawkeyes (16)
20. Arizona State Sun Devils (NR)
19. Washington Huskies (NR)
18. Indiana Hoosiers (12)
17. Texas Longhorns (19)
16. Penn State Nittany Lions (NR)
15. USC Trojans (21)
14. Wisconsin Badgers (NR)
13. Florida Gators (13)
12. LSU Tigers (NR)
11. North Carolina Tar Heels (18)
– CFN Preview 2021: All 130 Team Previews
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5)
9. Oregon Ducks (NR)
8. Cincinnati Bearcats (8)
7. Iowa State Cyclones (9)
6. Texas A&M Aggies (4)
– CFN 2021 Preseason Rankings 1-130
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (2)
4. Georgia Bulldogs (7)
3. Clemson Tigers (3)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (6)
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
Coaches Poll College Football Rankings
All-Time Coaches Poll Rankings | AP All-Time Rankings