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Alabama gets the nod as No. 1 in preseason guess at final college football poll

Alabama will be No. 1 in most preseason polls

It is one thing to make a preseason prediction for Southeastern Conference football teams, but quite another to make a guess at how the final rankings will shake out nationwide.
We get to see only one team – Alabama – on a regular basis. Fortunately, that has proved to be the best team to be watching over the 10 years of the Nick Saban Era with the Crimson Tide.
Plenty of information – much of it credible – comes across from most of the SEC schools.
As for the nation, we have to rely on the reports of others. To be honest, it would not necessarily help if we could see every team in practice -- obviously impossible, and no one does it. Our preseason national poll will probably look like those of one or more others trying this futile task, which if judged at the end of the season is likely to have miserable fails sprinkled about.
We also notice that most of our brethren  covering college teams are usually quite optimistic. And, yes, so are we, but we have Saban the recruiter and Saban the coach and a decade of Crimson Tide success to back up the high expectations for Alabama.
There is no huge surprise in our top four – the ones that will matter when the College Football Playoff selection committee gives its final rankings. Most will put Alabama, Florida State, and Ohio State in the preseason top four and pick one of the next few in our poll as the fourth one for the playoffs.
With Alabama and Florida State playing in the season-opening game in Atlanta on Sept. 2, it’s a dangerous selection to have them finish one-two. The loser has no wiggle room, must win the rest of its games including the conference championship game to make it to a semifinal game in either New Orleans or Pasadena.
Our top 25 has seven SEC teams, and we seriously considered a couple more as being worthy.
1. Alabama
2. Florida State
3. Ohio State
4. Southern Cal
5. Oklahoma
6. Washington
7. Clemson
8. LSU
9. Miami
10. Georgia
11. Penn State
12. Florida
13. Wisconsin
14. Oklahoma State
15. Stanford
16. Louisville
17. Texas A&M
18. Virginia Tech
19. Auburn
20. Notre Dame
21. Texas
22. Tennessee
23. TCU
24. UCLA
25. Michigan

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