Clemson No. 1 in AP preseason college football poll; Michigan Wolverines 7th, Michigan State Spartans 18th

Michigan State defensive tackle Mike Pansiuk, left, high fives during a practice on Monday in East Lansing. The Spartans are ranked 18th in the AP college football preseason poll. (AP photo)

By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
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. The Tigers won the program’s second national title in three seasons behind freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence in January. Clemson 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 and Alabama received the other 10 from the media. 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.
Michigan came in at No. 7 while Michigan State is No. 18.
The Tigers enter 2019 with a 15-game winning streak and eight straight double-digit victory seasons. Since 2015, when they lost the national championship game to Alabama, the Tigers are 55-4.
Clemson and Alabama have split the last four national championships, played in the last four playoffs and are poised to make it five straight.