Alabama went 13-1 last season, beating Notre Dame 42-14 to retain the Bowl Championship Series crown. The Crimson Tide topped Louisiana State 21-0 after the 2011 season. Alabama also won the BCS title after the 2009 season.
Alabama receives 58 of the 62 first-place votes from the Board of Coaches to easily outdistance Ohio State for the No. 1 ranking. Ohio State was 12-0 last year but ineligible for either poll or post-season bowl consideration because of NCAA probation. The Buckeyes picked up three first-place votes Thursday and are ranked second to open this season, however.
Oregon (12-1 in 2012) comes in in the third spot followed by No. 4 Stanford (12-2) and fifth-ranked Georgia (12-2).
Texas A&M (11-2), like Alabama and Georgia from the Southeastern Conference, takes the final first-place vote and is sixth. The Aggies are led by sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel, who won last year's Heisman Trophy.
South Carolina (11-2), another SEC member, is seventh with Clemson (11-2), Louisville (11-2) and Florida (11-2), in order, filling out the Top 10. Florida gives the SEC five teams in the Top 10.
Notre Dame (11-2) is voted 11th followed by No. 12 Florida State (12-2), 13th-ranked LSU (10-3), No. 14 Oklahoma State (8-5) and Texas (9-4) at 15th.
Oklahoma (10-3), a third consecutive Big 12 member, takes the 16th place with Big Ten rivals Michigan (8-5) and Nebraska (10-4) voted 17th and 18th, respectively. Boise State (11-2) is 19th and Texas Christian (7-6) is 20th.
UCLA (9-5) sits in the No. 21 spot followed by two more Big Ten teams -- No. 22 Northwestern (10-3) and No. 23 Wisconsin (8-6) -- with Southern California (7-6) 24th and Oregon State (9-4) at No. 25.