The Alabama Crimson Tide is once again the team to beat in the new college football season, according to the Associated Press Top 25 pre-season poll.
It is the fourth time in the past six years that Nick Saban’s team have entered the season as the number 1 ranked team pre-season, even despite the fact that they lost a number of stars, such as Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, running back Najee Harris and quarterback Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In truth, the Tide were the clear top choice in the rankings, polling 47 of the 63 first place votes from the panel of sports writers and journalists. The next best were Oklahoma (who were ranked second) and Clemson (who rank third) who both received six first placed votes each.
Only Ohio State (one first place vote) and Georgia (three first place votes) received the top vote from someone on the panel.
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The AP Top 25 Rankings In Full
- Alabama (47) – 1548 points
- Oklahoma (6) – 1462
- Clemson (6) – 1447
- Ohio State (1) – 1393
- Georgia (3) – 1365
- Texas A&M – 1223
- Iowa State – 1160
- Cincinnati – 1014
- Notre Dame – 1009
- North Carolina – 999
- Oregon – 968
- Wisconsin – 743
- Florida – 728
- Miami (Fla.) – 663
- USC – 660
- LSU – 631
- Indiana – 549
- Iowa – 513
- Penn State – 456
- Washington – 449
- Texas – 350
- Coastal Carolina – 232
- Louisiana-Lafayette – 208
- Utah – 175
- Arizona State – 125
Why Are The Tide Ranked Top Again?
Having lost so much talent through the NFL Draft, a total of 10 Alabama players were
drafted, four of whom were drafted in the first 15 picks, and a further four came off the board after the 38th pick in the second round.
Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain II, DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones, Alex Leatherwood, Najee Harris, Landon Dickerson, Christian Barmore, Deonte Brown and Thomas Fletcher were the ‘Bama graduates who were selected in 2021.
Part of the reason why Alabama are ranked so highly is the next wave of talented college stars coming through to replace them. The highly prizes Bryce Young will replace Mac Jones at quarterback, while Brian Robinson will likely take on Najee Harris’ role at running back. Filling the holes left by receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle looks likely to be a key job for John Metchie III, Javon Baker and Jameson Williams.
SEC Stacked With Talent According To Rankings
In terms of the relative strength of the top college football conferences, the SEC looks stacked with top teams with Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and LSU all ranked inside the top 16. Only the ACC (Clemson, North Carolina, Miami (Fla.) have three teams also ranked in the top 16.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 also have five teams each on the list, but the Big Ten have just one ranked inside the top ten (Ohio State), while the best ranked Pac-12 team are Oregon at 11.
The Big 12, Sun Belt, American and Independent conferences all had at least one team make the top 25.
After the pandemic-hit season of last year, College football fans are hoping that this coming year will see a return to a full season of games for all teams and fans to enjoy.
NCAAF Championship Betting
Alabama are the +275 favorites to retain the Championship they won this season next year too, ahead of Clemson at +350, Ohio State at +450 and Georgia and Oklahoma who are both +800 shots.
After that the odds rise rapidly to Iowa State, LSU and Texas A&M who are all +4000.
All odds shown were with BetRivers Sportsbook.
It does seem like the Tide are set to roll once again this season. Can any of their rivals in that top 25 stop them?