The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide will start the college football season as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll for the third straight year.
The top ranking in the AP preseason media poll released Monday is Alabama's seventh time in history and fifth under coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide are just the second team to top the preseason AP poll for three straight years since Oklahoma accomplished the feat from 1985-87.
Alabama, which also topped the coaches poll released earlier this month, will start the season ranked in the top five for the 10th consecutive time.
The Crimson Tide, who are coming off a 26-23 overtime win over Georgia in the national title game, received 42 of 61 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,505 points overall.
No. 2 Clemson received 18 first-place votes and 1,476 points to reside ahead of Georgia. No. 4 Wisconsin, which received one first-place vote, had 15 more points than Ohio State.
The rest of the top 10 consisted of No. 6 Washington, Oklahoma, Miami, Auburn and Penn State.
Michigan State ranked 11th, followed by Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan, USC.
TCU received the 16th position, with West Virginia, Mississippi State, Florida State and Virginia Tech in close pursuit.
Central Florida, which completed a perfect season by defeating Auburn in the Peach Bowl, joined Boise State, Texas, Oregon and LSU in rounding out the Top 25.