The annual tradition of the release of the preseason college football AP Poll signifies that fall is almost upon us and it’s time to start gearing up for a return to school and cooler weather. This year, the AP Poll is a snapshot of what could have been for the 2020 fall season. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and a number of mid-major conferences have already announced that they will not be participating in fall sports and as such the preseason poll is littered with teams that won’t be involved when the next poll is released.
The Wisconsin Badgers are preseason No. 12 and one of nine B1G and Pac-12 teams in the initial rankings. The Clemson Tigers are preseason No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia. Here is what the rankings would look like when the nine B1G and Pac-12 teams are removed.
Adjusted preseason @AP_Top25 poll w/only teams playing in fall:— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 24, 2020
The other B1G teams in the rankings are No. 7 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan, No. 19 Minnesota (making its first preseason poll appearance since 2004), No. 24 Iowa while Indiana and Northwestern were among the “others receiving votes” or “vote” in NU’s case. Notre Dame, who Wisconsin was scheduled to play at Lambeau Field this year, is preseason No. 10 and Appalachian State, who the Badgers would have hosted, is one of the top “receiving votes” teams. The B1G, with six teams, is the second most represented conference behind the SEC and their seven teams.
Clemson is the preseason No. 1 team for the second year in a row while defending national champion LSU is slotted at No. 6, the first defending national champion to start the following season outside the top five since Auburn in 2011.