Alabama tops coaches' preseason poll
McLean, VA – Alabama will try for a third straight national championship this autumn and will start the 2013 season as the top-ranked team in the USA Today coaches' poll.
The Crimson Tide, coming off a 13-1 season and a dominating win over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, received 58 of the 62 first-place votes and a total of 1,545 points from a nationwide panel of coaches to easily outdistance Ohio State for the top spot.
Ohio State, which picked up three first-place votes, was 12-0 last year in Urban Meyer's first season, but the Buckeyes were not bowl-eligible while serving NCAA sanctions for violations under Jim Tressel.
The remainder of the preseason top 10 features Oregon, Stanford, Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Clemson, Louisville and Florida. Texas A&M, with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel returning, earned the last first-place vote.
Notre Dame starts the second 10 and is followed by Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State and TCU.
The last five teams ranked are UCLA, Northwestern, Wisconsin, USC and Oregon State.
As usual, the SEC heads the conference tally with six teams ranked -- all within the top 13. The league has won the last seven BCS titles.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 each have five ranked teams, while the Big 12 has four. Two ACC teams are ranked, while the lone team from the new American Athletic Conference is Louisville.