TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – USA Today released its annual Amway Preseason Coaches Poll for college football on Thursday and named Alabama its No. 1 team. The ranking marks the eighth consecutive year the Crimson Tide is amongst the top-three teams in the nation heading into the new season.
Alabama received 49 of a possible 65 first-place votes in the poll. Ohio State occupies the No. 2 spot in the rankings while the Tide’s season-opening opponent, Florida State, enters the 2017 season as the third-ranked team. The Southeastern Conference placed six teams in the top 25 with four of those squads ranking in the top-15. In all, nine SEC schools received votes in the preseason poll, including six of the seven SEC Western Division programs.
The Crimson Tide will face four teams ranked in the preseason top-25 poll, including Florida State (3), LSU (12), Auburn (13) and Tennessee (24). Alabama opens its 2017 season with the third-ranked Seminoles on Sept. 2 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT start on ABC.
Alabama returns 13 starters from last season’s squad that finished 14-1 and won the school’s 26th Southeastern Conference championship. The Tide has claimed four of the last five SEC titles and four of the last eight national championships. Alabama owns a 112-13 record across the last nine seasons under head coach Nick Saban.