Cross off another milestone for Clemson, college football's newest superpower.

For the first time, the defending national champion Tigers are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 presented by Regions Bank after winning the program's second national title in three seasons. Clemson, which won the championship behind freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence in January, now can claim equal standing with Alabama at the top of the sport.

The Crimson Tide, coming off a 44-16 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship, is No. 2. Clemson received 52 first-place votes from the media and Alabama received the other 10. Clemson snaps a record-tying string of three straight years in which Alabama was preseason No. 1.

Georgia, Alabama's Southeastern Conference rival, is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Ohio State.

Clemson's rise under coach Dabo Swinney has been uncommon in college football. The school won the national championship in 1980, but mostly it had resided on a tier well below the traditional national powers. Clemson football was usually good and sometimes excellent, but never this.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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