In 2020, UCLA posted a 25-1 mark and collected wins over seven nationally-ranked teams, while it posted an NCAA-best 13 shutouts (tied with Arizona State) along the way. The 2019 national champions have been ranked No. 1 15 times since April 24, 2018 and amongst the top five since the final 2017 poll.
Pac-12 foes Washington (23-2) and Arizona (22-3) followed UCLA at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and a fourth Pac-12 program, Oregon, came in at No. 10. The Southeastern Conference had three programs – No. 5 LSU (21-3), No. 7 Florida (23-4) and No. 8 Alabama (14-8) – in the top-10. The Big 12 is represented by league-favorite No. 4 Oklahoma (20-4) and No. 6 Texas (24-3). Ninth-ranked Louisiana (18-6) out of the Sun Belt Conference finalized the top-10.
In all, nine SEC programs entered the preseason nationally ranked, followed by the Pac-12 with five and the Big 12 with four. Joining the top-10 SEC teams are No. 13 Kentucky (20-4), No. 14 Georgia (23-5), No. 18 Arkansas (19-6), No. 19 South Carolina (17-6), No. 20 Mississippi State (25-3) and No. 23 Missouri (19-7). No. 16 Arizona State (22-7) is fifth Pac-12 institution. No. 11 Oklahoma State (19-5) and No. 22 Baylor (19-5) rounded out the Big 12 teams.
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The Atlantic Coast Conference is represented by No. 12 Florida State (17-7), No. 15 Virginia Tech (21-4) and No. 25 Duke. The Blue Devils, who raced out to a 23-4 start last season, are in the NFCA’s Top 25 for the first time in program history.
A pair from the Big Ten in No. 17 Michigan (15-8) and No. 24 Minnesota (15-9-1), along with No. 21 UCF (21-5-1), the American Athletic Conference preseason favorite, finalize the preseason rankings.
The 2021 USA Today / NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.
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