Alabama starts atop AP poll for 2nd straight year

Nick Saban is the only current coach in the SEC to win a national title.		 Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban is the only current coach in the SEC to win a national title. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason rankings are rare in Manhattan.

As anticipated, Alabama enters the season at No. 1. Auburn is 12th, Florida is 17th, and Tennessee is 25th.

The Crimson Tide received 52 of 61 first-place votes from media members in the poll released Monday.

Additionally, of its 59 appearances in the AP preseason poll, 41 have seen OU ranked seventh or higher.

Alabama's streak of nine straight top-five preseason rankings is second only to Florida State, which had a run of 11 straight seasons starting in the top-five under former coach Bobby Bowden. No. 4 Penn State in 1983.

The Tigers are No. 12 with a total of 880 points in the AP preseason top 25 poll released Monday, narrowly missing a top 10 start to the season behind No. 10 Oklahoma State (889 points) and No. 11 MI (881). Southern California and defending national champion Clemson rounded out the top five.

Dabo Swinney and Clemson proved the ACC's worth by defeating Alabama to win the National Championship.		 Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Dabo Swinney and Clemson proved the ACC's worth by defeating Alabama to win the National Championship. Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 15 ranking is pretty similar to previous year, when the Bulldogs were No. 18 in the preseason AP poll, and no. 16 in the coaches poll. Oklahoma 8. Washington 9.

The last time an SEC team other than the Tide was preseason No. 1 was Florida in 2009; the Gators went 13-1 and finished third.

Miami is ranked just behind Florida at No. 18.

Auburn was ranked No. 12. They finished the season 8-5.

- 5.4 teams (54 percent total) that started the season ranked in the top 10 finished ranked in the top 10.

The SEC leads all conferences with six teams in the AP Top 25 poll, but only one in the Top 10.


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