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When the AP Top 25 preseason college football rankings will be released

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The college football season is fast approaching and that means one thing: preseason top 25 rankings.

Already, the Coaches Poll have made their opinions known, with Alabama coming in as the near consensus No. 1 team in the country.

Next up is the preseason AP Top 25, and now we have the official release date: AP voters will unveil the first rankings at 12 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Aug. 15.

Here's a rundown of what the first Top 25 college football rankings looked like when the Coaches Poll revealed its preseason votes.

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Georgia
  4. Clemson
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Michigan
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Utah
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Baylor
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. Oregon
  13. NC State
  14. Michigan State
  15. USC
  16. Pittsburgh
  17. Miami
  18. Texas
  19. Wake Forest
  20. Wisconsin
  21. Kentucky
  22. Cincinnati
  23. Arkansas
  24. Ole Miss
  25. Houston

How important are these preseason rankings, really?

Well, when it comes to getting your team in the College Football Playoff, being the No. 1 team in the preseason isn't the most important thing in the world.

In the 21st century, only two teams that debuted at No. 1 finished as national champions — USC in 2004 under the old BCS system, and Alabama in 2017, the only team in the College Football Playoff era to do it.

So where is a good place to be ranked if you want to win the national championship?

History suggests anywhere in the top five is in your best interest. All but one team in the CFP era that won the national title started No. 5 or better in the preseason poll.

LSU's historic 2019 team was the outlier — coming in at No. 6 in the initial rankings before going on to run the table as only the third 15-0 team in college football history and the second since the 1890s.

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