The University of Maine football team was picked seventh in the American Football Coaches Association preseason Top 25 poll.

The Black Bears, who are also ranked seventh in the STATS FCS Top 25 poll, finished 10-4 last season and reached the FCS semifinals. UMaine returns 15 of 22 starters from that team.

Five Colonial Athletic Conference teams are in the AFCA preseason top 25. James Madison received one first-place vote and is ranked No. 2. Towson is ranked 12th, Elon 21st and Delaware 23rd. Stony Brook and New Hampshire also received votes.

UMaine opens the season at home against Sacred Heart on Aug. 30.

AP POLL: 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 AP preseason Top 25.

Clemson won its second national title in three seasons behind freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence to 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 and Alabama received the other 10. Clemson snaps a record-tying string of three straight years in which Alabama was the preseason No. 1.

Georgia is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Ohio State.

WISCONSIN: Former Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus was cleared to return to school after a jury acquitted him of sexual assault charges, though it was unclear when he will be eligible to play in a game.

The school announced Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s decision in a statement that said the university had obtained information that wasn’t provided during a student conduct review. The statement said sanctions against Cephus have been “reduced” and his expulsion had been lifted, though some conduct violations were upheld.

Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst said he would welcome Cephus back and the athletic department confirmed Cephus had officially rejoined the team. But in its own statement, the department said it was “working through eligibility issues before he can participate in a game.”

OKLAHOMA: No. 4 Oklahoma named Jalen Hurts its starting quarterback for the Sept. 1 season opener against Houston.

Hurts played in three national championship games for Alabama and helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 national title. He transferred to Oklahoma in January and has won the job over redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler.

OHIO STATE: Coach Ryan Day made official what most people figured was a foregone conclusion: Georgia transfer Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback when the No. 5 Buckeyes open the season Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic.


Comments are not available on this story.