Alabama Football Tops Preseason Associated Press Top 25
The Associated Press released its annual preseason poll for college football on Monday and named Alabama its top-ranked team. The ranking marks the eighth consecutive year the Crimson Tide is rated among the top-3 teams in the nation by AP heading into the new season, the longest stretch in school history.
This marks the sixth time Alabama has topped AP's preseason poll. Alabama also began the season No. 1 in the writers' rankings in 1966, 1978, 2010, 2013 and 2016. The No. 1 ranking is also the 59th time the Crimson Tide have topped the AP poll since 2008.
Alabama returns 13 starters from last season's team that finished 14-1 and won the school's 26th Southeastern Conference championship. The Tide has claimed four of the last eight national championships and owns a 112-13 record across the last nine seasons under head coach Nick Saban.
Ohio State claimed the No. 2 spot in the poll, while Florida State enters the 2017 season as the No. 3 overall team. USC and Clemson round out the top five. The SEC placed six teams in the top 25 with four of those squads ranking in the top-15.
The Crimson Tide will face four teams ranked in the preseason top-25 poll, including Florida State (3), Auburn (12), LSU (13) and Tennessee (25).
Alabama opens its 2017 season on Sept. 2 in Atlanta, Ga., against the third-ranked Seminoles in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT start on ABC with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi on the call.