For the second consecutive year, college football head coaches have tabbed Alabama as the team to beat this season.
The Crimson Tide collected 49 out of 65 first-place votes in Thursday’s Preseason Amway Coaches Poll, holding off Ohio State which landed at No. 2. The Crimson Tide lost a number of star players on defense to the NFL, but bring nearly everyone back on offense, including sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts who was named the 2016 SEC Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year.
Florida State, USC, and Clemson — the defending national champions — rounded out the Top 5. Despite being picked fifth, the Tigers had the second-most first-place votes (7) out of 130 FBS teams. While Clemson tries to figure out its QB battle, USC already knows who they got in Sam Darnold. The sophomore quarterback is one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and carries a lot of momentum into the 2017 campaign after helping lead the Trojans to a thrilling 52-49 Rose Bowl win over Penn State last year.
Looking at the conferences, the SEC lead the way with six teams in the preseason poll, followed by the Big 12 and ACC which had five representatives each.
While the Big Ten just had four teams in the Top 25, they made it count as all four teams were in the Top 10. Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin joined Ohio State as the conference looks to possibly send two teams to the College Football Playoff after nearly pulling it off last year.
— Fan Insider (@FanInsider_) August 3, 2017
2017 Preseason Amway Coaches Poll
1. Alabama (49 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Florida State (4)
5. Clemson (7)
6. Penn State
11. Oklahoma State
18. Miami (Fla.)
19. Kansas State
20. West Virginia
21. South Florida
22. Virginia Tech
Others receiving votes: Washington St. 99; Colorado 72; TCU 58; Boise St. 49; Notre Dame 49; Texas A&M 46; Pittsburgh 45; North Carolina St. 39; Oregon 37; Northwestern 25; Nebraska 23; Memphis 22; Arkansas 22; Mississippi St. 19; SDSU 18; Appalachian St. 11; BYU 10; Georgia Tech 10; Tulsa 10; Wyoming 9; Western Michigan 8; Temple 8; North Carolina 8; Houston 7; Troy 6; Minnesota 6; Iowa 5; Louisiana Tech 4; Syracuse 3; Arizona 2; Army 1; Michigan St. 1; UCLA 1; Maryland 1; Colorado St. 1; Toledo 1.