For the second time in four years, the Alabama Crimson Tide has notched the top spot in the USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Thursday. It’s no surprise that the spot goes to Nick Saban’s team, which has won three of the past four national championships and is a staggering 61-7 over the past five years.
Joining Alabama in the top five is Ohio State at second, Oregon at third, Stanford at fourth, and Georgia at fifth.
Other stats about the Tide’s ranking: Alabama holds the longest active streak of appearances on the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, at 81, including the last 33 in which Alabama has been in the top five.
The Tide also boasts a margin of 118 poll points over the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, the largest such lead since 2005 when number one USC lead number two Texas by 142 points. Of the 62 first place votes, Alabama received 58 of them, with Ohio State receiving three and sixth-ranked Texas A&M getting one.
In addition to the Tide, the Bulldogs and the Aggies, seventh-ranked South Carolina, tenth-ranked Florida, and thirteenth-ranked LSU represent the Southeastern Conference in the poll. With six representatives, the SEC leads all conferences, trailed closely by the Big Ten and the Pac-12 with five each.
The Tide will try to defend their top ranking against Virginia Tech on August 31st, the opening weekend of the 2013 college football season.