HOUSTON, Texas (AP) The preseason AP Top 25 is all about hope and optimism.
Reality Check is all about, well, being realistic. Sometimes the truth can be painful.
As has become tradition, the first AP Top 25 Reality Check of the season is a reminder that your promising college football team, newly minted with a cool ranking as it heads into the season, might turn out to be not as good as you and the poll voters thought.
Alabama is No. 1, followed by Oklahoma, Clemson and Ohio State in the poll presented by Regions Bank and released Monday.
From 2010-2020, on average, 9.5 teams that appeared in the preseason Top 25 finished the season unranked — about 38% of the picks. During that time, the fewest preseason ranked teams to finish outside the final Top 25 was seven in 2011; the most was 12, in 2010.
Even in an anything-but-normal 2020 season played through the pandemic, the number of teams that started the season ranked only to finish unranked was a typical 10.
There are two representatives from the state of Texas in the preseason poll. Texas A&M leads the way at number 6 and the University of Texas is ranked 21st.
The 2021 season kicks off for college football on August 28.
Released August 15
|1||Alabama (0-0)||1||SEC||1,548 (47)|
|2||Oklahoma (0-0)||6||Big 12||1,462 (6)|
|3||Clemson (0-0)||3||ACC||1,447 (6)|
|4||Ohio State (0-0)||2||Big Ten||1,393 (1)|
|5||Georgia (0-0)||7||SEC||1,364 (3)|
|6||Texas A&M (0-0)||4||SEC||1,223|
|7||Iowa State (0-0)||9||Big 12||1,160|
|8||Cincinnati (0-0)||8||American Athletic||1,014|
|9||Notre Dame (0-0)||5||ACC||1,009|
|10||North Carolina (0-0)||18||ACC||999|
|12||Wisconsin (0-0)||Big Ten||743|
|14||Miami (FL) (0-0)||22||ACC||663|
|17||Indiana (0-0)||12||Big Ten||549|
|18||Iowa (0-0)||16||Big Ten||513|
|19||Penn State (0-0)||Big Ten||456|
|21||Texas (0-0)||19||Big 12||350|
|22||Coastal Carolina (0-0)||14||Sun Belt||232|
|23||Louisiana-Lafayette (0-0)||15||Sun Belt||208|
|25||Arizona State (0-0)||Pac-12||125|
Others receiving votes:Oklahoma State 107, Ole Miss 106, TCU 40, Liberty 36, Auburn 32, North Carolina State 14, Michigan 12, Northwestern 8, Boise State 7, Nevada 7, Brigham Young 6, Ball State 6, Houston 5, Boston College 5, UCF 5, West Virginia 3, UAB 2, Army 2, UCLA 2