Alabama will begin the season as the nation’s top-ranked team, coming in at No. 1 in the AP preseason Top 25. The Crimson Tide is followed by Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU, rounding out the Top 5.

Alabama topping the poll should come as no surprise. The defending champs return many key parts from last year’s squad and secured 33 out of 61 possible first-place votes. The Crimson Tide has won four titles since 2009 and has had the top-ranked recruiting class six years running. However, only two teams in history (1999 Florida State and 2004 USC) began the season at No. 1 and went on to win the title.

As usual, the SEC boasts the most teams in the initial poll with six teams — including four of the top 11 — making the list. The Pac-12 is next with five teams in. The ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten all boast four teams in. Notre Dame (independent) and Houston (American) round out the poll.

Preseason AP Top 25 (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Alabama (33)
2. Clemson (16)
3. Oklahoma (4)
4. Florida State (5)
5. LSU (1)
6. Ohio State (1)
7. Michigan (1)
8. Stanford
9. Tennessee
10. Notre Dame
11. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State
13. TCU
14. Washington
15. Houston
16. UCLA
17. Iowa
18. Georgia
19. Louisville
20. USC
21. Oklahoma State
22. North Carolina
23. Baylor
24. Oregon
25. Florida

Others receiving votes: Miami, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington State, Boise State, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Navy, Northwestern, Western Kentucky, South Florida, Toledo