UL and Coastal Carolina start 2021 season ranked in AP Top 25 poll — first for Sun Belt

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Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Levi Lewis (1) scores a touchdown against Louisiana-Monroe defensive lineman Seth Mason (94) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Monroe, La., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

For the first time ever, the Sun Belt Conference has two teams ranked in the Associated Press’ Top 25 College Football preseason poll — and the Ragin’ Cajuns are one of them.

UL-Lafayette is ranked 23rd in the preseason poll with rival Coastal Carolina ranked just above then at No. 22. The LSU Tigers also join the ranks, coming in at No. 16 in the poll.

The full top 25 are as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio State
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Iowa State
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Notre Dame
  10. North Carolina
  11. Oregon
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Florida
  14. Miami (FL)
  15. USC
  16. LSU
  17. Indiana
  18. Iowa
  19. Penn State
  20. Washington
  21. Texas
  22. Coastal Carolina
  23. UL-Lafayette
  24. Utah
  25. Arizona State

Alabama is No. 1 in the preseason poll for the fourth time in the past six seasons. Coming off its sixth national championship under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide enters the season loaded with potential replacements for the record-breakers and NFL draft picks who have moved on, including Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

Alabama received 47 of 63 first-place votes from the panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the poll presented by Regions Bank. Oklahoma is No. 2, just ahead of No. 3 Clemson (each received six first-place votes).

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