The Alabama Crimson Tide have been voted as the preseason No. 1 team in the country by the Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ poll for the 2018-2019 season. This is Alabama’s sixth straight year at the top of the rankings.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have been overwhelming the No. 1 in the preseason coaches’ poll for a while now, and it is expected that they will maintain their position as one of the top teams in college football. Read more in detail here: alabama football coach.
There may have been plenty of off-field changes in college football this offseason, ranging from players earning for the first time off their name, image, and likeness to Oklahoma and Texas’ imminent departures from the Big 12 to the SEC.
But, if the 65 coaches who voted in the preseason coaches’ poll are to be believed, not much will change on the field in 2021.
In the preseason coaches’ poll published on Tuesday, Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are rated in the top four for the second consecutive season, but their ranking has altered somewhat.
The Crimson Tide, who are attempting to win their eighth national championship under coach Nick Saban, received 63 votes, followed by Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Georgia. The other two first-place votes went to the Sooners.
Coaches’ Preseason Poll
|1. The state of Alabama||14. USC|
|2. Clemson University||Wisconsin is number 15 on the list.|
|3. The state of Oklahoma||16. Miami|
|4. The Ohio State Buckeyes||Indiana is number seventeen.|
|Georgia is number five.||18. Iowa|
|6. Texas A&M||19. Texas|
|Notre Dame (No. 7)||Penn State is number 20.|
|8. Iowa State University||Washington, D.C.|
|North Carolina is number nine.||Oklahoma St. is number 22.|
|Cincinnati is number ten.||UL Lafayette is number 23.|
|11. The state of Florida||Carolina, No. 24|
|Oregon is number 12 on the list.||Ole Miss (#25)|
The lofty expectations are nothing new for Alabama, which has been ranked No. 3 or higher in each of the past 12 preseason coaches’ polls. In fact, last season was only the second time it was ranked outside the top two since 2010. The Tide were No. 3 behind Clemson and Ohio State but finished 13-0 after defeating the Buckeyes 52-24 in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Tide also were No. 3 in the preseason coaches’ poll in 2015, when they defeated Clemson 45-40 in the CFP National Championship.
Of course, Alabama will have to replace many of the key players that helped the Crimson Tide win their sixth national title in the last ten years. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones, and tailback Najee Harris were among the six former Alabama players selected in the first round of the NFL draft in April. Former Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien replaced offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who resigned to become the head coach of Texas.
“When you win a national championship, the punishment for success is that you won because you had a lot of excellent players,” Saban remarked during the SEC media days last month. “You had a lot of excellent coaches because they were well-coached. When you lose some of those players to better opportunities, as we did with six first-round draft picks and ten overall in the draft, and you lose some of those coaches to better opportunities, the challenge is that you have to rebuild with a lot of new players who will be younger, have new roles, and less experience, and how do they respond to these new roles? That is why rebuilding is such a difficult task. That is why it is so tough to duplicate.”
Despite this, the Crimson Tide are anticipated to return nine starters on defense, with projected starter Bryce Young rated as the top dual-threat quarterback prospect in the ESPN 300 for 2020. Alabama kicks off the season on Sept. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta against No. 16 Miami (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
Clemson and Ohio State also will have new quarterbacks, after losing Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 pick by the Jaguars, and Justin Fields, the No. 11 pick by the Bears, respectively. The Tigers might be better equipped to replace Lawrence; D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 914 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions and started two games when Lawrence was sidelined with COVID-19 last season.
The Tigers kick off their season on September 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina, against Georgia (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). JT Daniels and six other offensive starters return for the Bulldogs, who haven’t won a national title in 41 years. However, most of the defense, particularly in the secondary, will have to be replaced.
Oklahoma will also want to break a national title skid that began in 2000. On both sides of the ball, the Sooners are projected to return seven starters, and coach Lincoln Riley has recruited many important transfers to assist.
Texas A&M is No. 6 in the poll, followed by Notre Dame, Iowa State, North Carolina and Cincinnati, which is the highest-ranked team from a Group of 5 conference.
Florida is rated No. 11, LSU is No. 13, and Ole Miss is No. 25, with six SEC teams in the top 25. Last season, the Tigers finished 5-5 after going 15-0 and won the national title the year before.
The Big Ten had five rated teams, the Big 12 had four, while the Pac-12 and the ACC each had three.