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Alabama a convincing No. 1 in preseason coaches poll

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) celebrates with the CFP National Championship trophy after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) celebrates with the CFP National Championship trophy after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Defending national champion Alabama is an overwhelming choice of coaches as the top college football team in the land.

In the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, released Tuesday, the Crimson Tide gathered 63 of 65 first-place votes, even with the loss of quarterback Mac Jones and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

Alabama opens the season Sept. 4 against Miami in Atlanta as the Tide seek a seventh national championship under coach Nick Saban.

Coaches gave Clemson, without quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 2 spot. The Tigers were the preseason No. 1 in both 2019 and ’20. At No. 3 is Oklahoma, which received the other two first-place votes.

Ohio State and Georgia round out the top five.

No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 7 Notre Dame will look to repeat stellar 2020 seasons, in which the Aggies and Irish both finished in the top five of the final coaches poll.

Rounding out the top 10 are Iowa State, North Carolina and Cincinnati, all of which find themselves on uncommon turf.

In all, the poll features six teams from the Southeastern Conference, five from the Big Ten, four from the Big 12 and three each from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12.

The Sun Belt Conference, which never has had a team in the preseason top 25, has two: No. 23 Louisiana and No. 24 Coastal Carolina.

The rest of the list:
11. Florida
12. Oregon
13. LSU
14. Southern California
15. Wisconsin
16. Miami
17. Indiana
18. Iowa
19. Texas
20. Penn State
21. Washington
22. Oklahoma State
23. Louisiana
24. Coastal Carolina
25. Ole Miss

–Field Level Media