The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 was released on Aug. 16, and both those rankings and the 2021 College Football America Yearbook’s Preseason Top 130 had something in common — Alabama at the top.
The Crimson Tide are coming off a season in which they won the national championship for the sixth time under head coach Nick Saban. While Alabama sent six players to the NFL via first-round picks, the Tide still have a wealth of talent returning to Tuscaloosa. So it’s no big surprise that both the game’s coaches and the College Football America Yearbook have Alabama at the top of their preseason rankings.
While the The AP ranks just the Top 25 teams in the country, the College Football America Yearbook does a full ranking of all 130 teams. For the purposes of this article, we’ll explore the differences in the Top 25.
The AP had Oklahoma at No. 2, Clemson at No. 3, Ohio State at No. 4, Georgia at No. 5, Texas A&M at No. 6, Iowa State at No. 7, Cincinnati at No. 8, Notre Dame at No. 9 and North Carolina at No. 10.
The College Football America Yearbook ranked Clemson at No. 2, followed by No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 8 Florida, No. 9 Iowa State and No. 10 Oregon in its full preseason FBS Top 130, which ranks ever team in the country.
Cincinnati mad an appearance in the AP Top 10, while the Bearcats did not make an appearance in the CFA Top 10. The AP also liked UNC a bit better than CFA, while CFA had Oregon in its Top 10 and the AP did not.
After the Top 10, the AP had Oregon at No. 11, Wisconsin at No. 12, Florida at No. 13, Miami (FL) at No. 14, USC at No. 15, LSU at No. 16, Indiana at No. 17, Iowa at No. 18, Penn State at No. 19, Washington at No. 20, Texas at No. 21, Coastal Carolina at No. 22, Louisiana at No. 23, Utah at No. 24 and Arizona State at No. 25.
The rest of the College Football America Yearbook Top 25 included No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 12 Miami (FL), No. 13 LSU, No. 14 Iowa, No. 15 Cincinnati, No. 16 North Carolina, No. 17 USC, No. 18 Indiana, No. 19 Washington, No. 20 Utah, No. 21 Penn State, No. 22 Texas, No. 23 Michigan, No. 24 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Boise State.
The College Football America 2021 Yearbookfeatures more than 900 college football teams from the United States and Canada in more than 250 striking, full-color pages. That includes every team from the NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and U Sports (Canada). It also includes updates on club football, one-year postgraduate prep/sports academies and Mexican college football, along with dozens of action shots and stadium photos taken by the CFA staff.