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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UCLA was voted the unanimous No. 1 team in the 2021 USA Today / NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll. Receiving all 32 first-place votes, the Bruins enter the 2021 campaign where they left off a year ago as the top-ranked team in the final five polls before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season.

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.

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. 

 

2021 USA Today / NFCA Division I
Top 25 Coaches Poll – January 26 (Preseason)

Rank

School

Points

Final 2020 Record

Final 2020 Ranking

1

UCLA (32)

800

25-1

1

2

Washington

748

23-2

2

3

Arizona

717

22-3

4

4

Oklahoma

708

20-4

6

5

LSU

644

21-3

5

6

Texas

611

24-3

3

7

Florida

605

23-4

7

8

Alabama

588

14-8

10

9

Louisiana

565

18-6

8

10

Oregon

481

22-2

9

11

Oklahoma State

476

19-5

12

12

Florida State

403

17-7

12

13

Kentucky

359

20-4

11

14

Georgia

352

23-5

14

15

Virginia Tech

317

21-4

16

16

Arizona State

295

22-7

17

17

Michigan

264

15-8

18

18

Arkansas

244

19-6

19

19

South Carolina

227

17-6

15

20

Mississippi State

180

25-3

20

21

UCF

159

21-5-1

21

22

Baylor

147

19-5

23

23

Missouri

117

19-7

25

24

Minnesota

114

15-9-1

22

25

Duke

64

23-4

RV

 

Receiving Votes: Fresno State (62), Tennessee (54), Stanford (33), Utah (13), Cal State Fullerton (12), Clemson (9), North Texas (8), Texas Tech (8), Northwestern (7), James Madison (6), Liberty (1), Notre Dame (1), San Diego State (1).

The 2021 USA Today / NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches with one representing each of the NCAA’s Division I Conferences. 

2021 NFCA Division I Poll Committee

*Programs not competing in 2021 will not be eligible for the Top-25 poll.

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