USA TODAY final Coaches Poll, 2021 early ranking


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Dixon figures to play a key role in the 2021.
Dixon figures to play a key role in the 2021.

USA TODAY's final Coaches Poll and early top-25 rankings share a No. 1 team in the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Clemson ranked third in the final Coaches Poll, behind Alabama and Ohio State and ahead of Texas A&M and Notre Dame in the top-5. UNC, at No. 17, and Miami, at No. 22, round out the ACC reps.

In USA TODAY's early 2021 rankings, they slotted Clemson fourth behind Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma.

"Uiagalelei looked good in his two starts – a comeback win against Boston College and double-overtime loss at Notre Dame – to give people an early look at the post-Lawrence era," USA TODAY's Erick Smith writes. "Of greater concern is the departure of running back Travis Etienne and sorting out some wide receiver losses and issues along the offensive line. There’s tons of young talent in the pipeline, so nobody is going to feel bad for the Tigers. They’re still the clear favorite in the ACC, though the gap feels a bit closer."

In that 2021 early look, UNC is the next-best out of the ACC at No. 11 and Miami at No. 19.

Projected top-5 teams Clemson and Georgia are scheduled to kick off their seasons in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 4.

USA TODAY Coaches Poll - 1/12

1 Alabama 13-0 1500 60

2 Ohio State 7-1 1432

3 Clemson 10-2 1349

4 Texas A&M 9-1 1317

5 Notre Dame 10-2 1247

6 Oklahoma 9-2 1219

7 Georgia 8-2 1146

8 Cincinnati 9-1 1031

9 Iowa State 9-3 997

10 Northwestern 7-2 919

11 Brigham Young 11-1 796

12 Florida 8-4 766

13 Indiana 6-2 762

14 Coastal Carolina 11-1 649

15 Iowa 6-2 606

16 UL Lafayette 10-1 596

17 North Carolina 8-4 538

18 Liberty 10-1 476

19 Oklahoma State 8-3 456

20 Texas 7-3 402

21 Southern California 5-1 400

22 Miami 8-3 275

23 Ball State 7-1 157

24 San Jose State 7-1 100

25 Buffalo 6-1 51

Dropped out: No. 22 NC State; No. 25 Tulsa.

Others rec. votes: Wisconsin 38; Oregon 36; NC State 35; Army 34; Tulsa 30; Appalachian State 30; Nevada 17; Auburn 17; Memphis 14; Utah 11; Mississippi 10; West Virginia 7; Southern Methodist 7; Missouri 6; Colorado 6; Boise State 6; UAB 4; Washington 2; Marshall 2; Kentucky 1.

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