The preseason AP Top 25 Poll is beginning exactly the same way it ended last year with Alabama No. 1 and Clemson No. 2.
The Tide is the No. 1 team for the third time under coach Nick Saban, but that might not be a good thing.
Despite losing several players to the NFL, its defensive coordinator and having to field a new quarterback and replace a Heisman-winning running back, the Tide appear to have all the pieces and depth for a championship run. The Tide are undoubtedly no stranger to the preseason pressure, although time will tell. They have been ranked in the preseason top five for eight successive years.
Clemson at No. 2 is actually the Tigers’ finest preseason start in school history.
Florida State and Oklahoma round out the Top 4 with LSU and Ohio State, which is ranked in the preseason Top 25 for its 28th straight year, trailing closely behind. It’s also worth noting that Houston, which is ranked No. 15, is ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1991.
No. 9 Tennessee is making its highest debut in the poll since 2005, No. 10 Notre Dame since 2006 and No. 14 Washington since 2002.
AP Top 25:
4. Florida State
6. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
11. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State
21. Oklahoma State
22. North Carolina