2020 College Football Researchers Association (CFRA) Preseason Poll

College football is back (hopefully), and so is the College Football Researchers Association Top 25 poll.  This will be the 23rd season overall that the CFRA will crown a contemporaneous national champion (again hopefully) and the 12th consecutive since the re-emergence of the poll in 2009.  The history there may not seem overwhelmingly vast but keep in mind that when you include all of the retrospective champions we’ve elected, this season’s champion will be the 151st in poll history which is more than any other multi-voter, NCAA-recognized poll in the country.

Obviously, Covid-19 is causing unprecedented havoc on the college football landscape for this season, and the CFRA poll is no different.  Voters were given the option in this preseason poll to either consider all 130 FBS teams or only rank the teams they thought would be playing games this season.  As a result, voters’ ballots differed drastically between one another to point that a record 71 different teams received top 25 votes.  That is over half of the total FBS schools in the nation!  Clearly, the Pac-12 and Big Ten schools were hit the hardest in this preseason poll, as several pollsters excluded all or most of these teams due to their covid- 19 cancellations.  One other interesting facet of this poll is the fact that several pairs of teams that either tied one another or were ranked next to each other have unique connections between them.  For instance, arch rivals Florida and Georgia ended up being ranked sequentially at # 5 and 6 as did Texas and Texas A & M at #’s 8 and 9.  The two schools Justin Fuente coached at (Memphis and Virginia Tech) tied at # 19.  And most interestingly, the last two teams in this top 25 poll are App State and Michigan who will be forever linked to one another by App’s 2007 upset in the Big House.

Without further ado, here is this year’s preseason poll.

1.  Clemson (6)– 267 points

2.  Alabama (2)– 258 points

3.  LSU (3)– 233 points

4.  Oklahoma– 224 points

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5.  Georgia– 209 points

6.  Florida– 202 points

7.  Notre Dame– 172 points

8.  Texas– 166 points

9.  Texas A & M– 158 points

10. Auburn– 155 points

11. Ohio State (1)– 121 points

12. Oklahoma State– 115 points

13. UCF– 94 points

14. Oregon– 83 points

15.North Carolina– 81 points

16. Penn State– 76 points

17. Cincinnati– 74 points

18. Wisconsin– 73 points

19. Memphis– 62 points

19. Virginia Tech– 62 points

21. Minnesota– 58 points

21. Tennessee– 58 points

23. Iowa State– 53 points

24. Appalachian State– 48 points

25. Michigan– 45 points

Others Receiving Votes: Louisville 40, Utah 38, Southern California 34, Iowa 33, Baylor 31, Miami-FL 30, Kentucky 29, Navy 26, Florida State 26, Houston 24, Northwestern 23, Rutgers 22, Washington State 21, California 20, Illinois 19, Indiana 18, Arizona State 18, Purdue 17, Washington 16, Arizona 15, UAB 15, Louisiana Tech 15, Maryland 14, SMU 14, TCU 14, South Carolina 14, Colorado 13, UL-Lafayette 13, UCLA 11, Wake Forest 11, NC State 11, Mississippi State 10, Michigan State 9, Kansas State 9, Virginia 9, Stanford 8, Nebraska 8, Duke 8, Pittsburgh 6, Florida Atlantic 5, Southern Miss 4, Boise State 4, Syracuse 4, Brigham Young 2, Ole Miss 2