Clemson football ranked No. 1 over Bama in ESPN preseason poll

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Raekwon Davis
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Raekwon Davis /

ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach released his way-too-early 2018 top-25 and had Clemson football as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.

ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach wrote a piece earlier this week entitled “Sorry Alabama, but Clemson is the new No. 1” in his way-too-early top-25.

Schlabach chose to go with Clemson football over the Crimson Tide and, a huge part of that had to do with who the Tigers return for 2018.

Clemson will return all four starters on a defensive line that was one of the top-two in the country last season.

The Tigers also have 10 guys on defense that have starting experience returning this season.

Throw in the fact that Kelly Bryant will be returning along with a plethora of talent in the skill positions and you have why many media members are picking the Tigers as the favorite to win the national championship.

Here’s a look at Schlabach’s top-10; of course it will change between now and the fall.

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Georgia
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Washington
  8. Miami
  9. Michigan State
  10. West Virginia


I tend to agree with his rankings, as a whole. In my opinion, I think it’s Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State in no particular order as your top-three.

After those three, I think there’s a drop-off. There are some teams that I think could step up into that role, but who knows exactly who that will be this far off.

I could see Georgia making a splash, despite losing Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

There’s also a few other teams like Oklahoma or Washington that could fill that fourth spot, but to me, your top-three are pretty much determined at this point.

Next: Dominos beginning to fall in Clemson's QB room

It will be interesting to see how these teams get through spring practice and fall camp and what we’re thinking come August.