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Top 25 Football Teams Playing in 2020

Here’s a preseason look at the top 25 teams which haven’t cancelled football (yet)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 01 ACC Championship Game - Pitt v Clemson
From Clemson to Pitt, eight ACC teams are ranked in somebody’s preseason poll.
Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ve been seeing lots of preseason top 25 lists come out now that certain conferences have declared that they plan to, you know, actually play football. While there is some variability, there are also some ACC teams which keep popping up on everyone’s top 25 list.

Here’s a summary of five different rankings:

2020 Preseason Top 25 Summary

Rank FPI Top 25 Pick Six CBS Sports 247Sports Yahoo
Rank FPI Top 25 Pick Six CBS Sports 247Sports Yahoo
1 Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson
2 Alabama Florida Alabama Alabama Alabama
3 Georgia Alabama Oklahoma Georgia Georgia
4 LSU Georgia Georgia Florida Oklahoma
5 Auburn Oklahoma Florida Oklahoma LSU
6 Oklahoma Notre Dame LSU Notre Dame Florida
7 Texas Texas AM Notre Dame LSU Notre Dame
8 Florida LSU Auburn Texas AM Texas
9 UCF Oklahoma St Texas AM Texas Texas AM
10 Texas A&M N Carolina Oklahoma St Oklahoma St Oklahoma St
11 Notre Dame Tennessee Texas Auburn Auburn
12 Oklahoma St Texas N Carolina N Carolina UCF
13 Virginia Tech Iowa State Cincinnati UCF Memphis
14 Louisville Miami Memphis Cincinnati N Carolina
15 TCU Kentucky UCF Tennessee Miami
16 Florida State Louisville Tennessee Memphis Virginia Tech
17 Iowa State Virginia Tech Iowa State Louisville Cincinnati
18 North Carolina Auburn Virginia Tech Iowa State Kentucky
19 Kansas State Pittsburgh Louisville Virginia Tech Tennessee
20 Kentucky TCU Miami TCU TCU
21 Baylor Florida State Kentucky Miami Iowa State
22 Tennessee Baylor Florida State Baylor Louisville
23 Memphis Ole Miss Baylor Kentucky Pitt
24 Ole Miss Mississippi St Pitt Pitt App State
25 S Carolina Brigham Young App State SMU UAB
ESPN, Pick Six Previews, CBS Sports, 247 Sports, and Yahoo Sports.

If you include the one “temporary” ACC football team whose long-term status is still to be determined, there are eight teams in one top 25 list or another (and never less than five). That’s a very solid football conference, worldwide pandemic notwithstanding.

Here is a table showing the average ranking (note: for teams which are unranked in certain polls I assumed 30th for their rank for purposes of averaging):

Average Preseason Rankings

Team FPI Top 25 Pick Six CBS Sports 247Sports Yahoo AVG
Team FPI Top 25 Pick Six CBS Sports 247Sports Yahoo AVG
Clemson 1 1 1 1 1 1
Notre Dame 11 6 7 6 7 7.4
UNC 18 10 12 12 14 13.2
Va Tech 13 17 18 19 16 16.6
Louisville 14 16 19 17 22 17.6
Miami n/a n/a 20 21 15 23.2
Florida St 16 21 22 n/a n/a 23.8
Pitt n/a 19 24 24 23 24

No surprise: the Clemson Tigers are the unanimous #1, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are a nearly-unanimous top 10 team. What about the Pittsburgh Panthers? Pitt’s rank in these polls averages around 24th, which means the Panthers are virtually tied with the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles. As for other ACC teams, some seem to be in love with North Carolina Tar Heels football while others are not so sure.

Other ranked teams include the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Louisville Cardinals.

Bottom line: this all bodes well for ACC football since the best way to finish in the top 25 is to start there.