Alabama starts this season where it ended last season -- No. 1.
Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are the top team in The
Associated Press preseason poll for the first time since 1978.
Alabama received 54 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,491 points to easily outdistance No. 2 Ohio State in the poll released Saturday.
The Buckeyes, who have been ranked no lower than 11th in the last eight preseason polls, received three first-place votes.
Boise State is No. 3, its best preseason ranking following another undefeated season. Underdogs no more, the Broncos even received one first-place vote.
Florida, Alabama's Southeastern Conference rival, is No. 4. No. 5 Texas received a first-place vote.