Alabama tops all in coaches top 25
FAYETTEVILLE — SEC standard bearer Alabama sits atop the preseason USA Today coaches top 25 poll released Thursday, but there’s a big gap between the Crimson Tide and the rest of the SEC.
No. 12 LSU is the next-highest rated SEC team in the poll, which is voted on by 65 coaches, including University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Coach Bret Bielema and six other SEC coaches. The other SEC teams in the poll are No. 13 Auburn, No. 15 Georgia, No. 16 Florida and No. 24 Tennessee.
Arkansas is the 23rd team among those receiving votes with 22 points, behind Texas A&M (46) from the SEC and just ahead of Mississippi State (19).
The SEC leads the Power 5 conferences with six ranked teams, but it is the first time since 1991 that the conference has only one team ranked in the coaches’ top 10.
Alabama had 49 first-place votes, while No. 2 Ohio State
had 5, No. 3 Florida State had 4 and No. 5 Clemson, the defending College Football Playoff champion, had 7.
The Big Ten has four teams in the poll, all in the top 10: the No. 2 Buckeyes, No. 6 Penn State, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Wisconsin.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 12 have five teams each in the top 25.
Arkansas has games against three teams in the poll: Alabama, LSU and Auburn. The Razorbacks’ Week 2 opponent, TCU, is third among teams receiving votes.
The Crimson Tide, who have won four national championships under Coach Nick Saban, was not the preseason No. 1 in the coaches poll for any of those title seasons. Alabama also was preseason No. 1 last season when it lost to Clemson in the championship game.
No. 22 South Florida of the American Athletic Conference is the lone ranked representative of the Group of Five leagues.
Preseason coaches poll
The preseason USA Today coaches top 25 football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, final 2016 records, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, and last season’s final ranking: OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES Washington State 99, Colorado 72, TCU 58, Boise State 49, Notre Dame 49, Texas A&M 46, Pittsburgh 45, N.C. State 39, Oregon 37, Northwestern 25, Nebraska 23, Memphis 22, Arkansas 22, Mississippi State 19, San Diego State 18, Appalachian State 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, Colorado State 1, Michigan State 1, Maryland 1, Toledo 1, UCLA 1.