Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban stands on the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Florida on January 9, 2017. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
The Alabama Crimson Tide will start the college football season as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll for the second straight year.
The top ranking in the AP preseason media poll released Monday is Alabama's sixth time in history and fourth under coach Nick Saban.
Alabama is the first program in 12 years to take the top spot two years in a row and will start the season ranked in the top five for the ninth consecutive time.
The Crimson Tide, coming off a last-second loss in the national championship game to Clemson, received 52 of 61 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,513 points.
Ohio State is ranked second, receiving three first-place votes and 1,414 points. No. 3 Florida State (four) and No. 4 USC (two) also received top votes. Defending champion Clemson begins the post-Deshaun Watson era at No. 5.
The top five mirrors the coaches poll, which was released on Aug. 3
Alabama opens the season against Florida State in Atlanta on Sept. 2.
Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State round out the top 10. Michigan is No. 11, followed by Auburn, LSU, Stanford, Georgia, Louisville, Florida, Miami, South Florida, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Texas, Washington State and Tennessee.
Alabama is the only SEC team in the top 10, but the conference leads with six teams in the Top 25.