Amway Preseason College Football Rankings 2018: Top 25 Coaches Poll Released

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2018

Alabama head coach Nick Saban leads his team to the field for pre-game warmups prior to an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Alabama won 31-24. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

After ending the 2017 season as the No. 1 team in the Amway Coaches Poll, the Alabama Crimson Tide will begin the 2018 campaign in the same position.

In addition to Alabama at No. 1, here is a rundown of the other 24 teams included in the poll, courtesy of USA Today:

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Ohio State

4. Georgia

5. Oklahoma

6. Washington

7. Wisconsin

8. Miami (Fla.)

9. Penn State

10. Auburn

11. Notre Dame

12. Michigan State

13. Stanford

14. Michigan

15. USC

16. TCU

17. Virginia Tech

18. Mississippi State

19. Florida State

20. West Virginia

21. Texas

22. Boise State

23. UCF

24. LSU

25. Oklahoma State

The Crimson Tide will open the season as the No. 1 team in the poll for the third consecutive year. They garnered 61 first-place votes, while Clemson got three and Ohio State took one.

Since coming from behind to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game last season, the Crimson Tide have undergone some significant changes.

Gone to the NFL are key players such as defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne, linebacker Rashaan Evans, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, running back Bo Scarbrough and several others.

Additionally, Alabama has some unanswered questions at quarterback since head coach Nick Saban has yet to announce whether Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa will be his starter in 2018.

Hurts started each of the past two seasons to great success, but Tagovailoa replaced him during the CFP title game and was the primary reason why 'Bama managed to come back and win.

After coming agonizingly close to winning it all last season, the Bulldogs and head coach Kirby Smart will begin 2018 as the No. 4 team in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Like Alabama, Georgia will have a much different roster in 2018 due to the sheer amount of talent that left for the NFL. Among the departed players are linebacker Roquan Smith, offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.

Perhaps the biggest key to Georgia's success in 2018 will be the play of sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm.

Fromm threw for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season as a freshman. If he can take another step in his development, Georgia will again be a force with which to be reckoned during the upcoming season.

Other potential national title contenders include the Clemson Tigers, who will open the season ranked second. 

Clemson has reached the CFP in each of the past three seasons, and it will benefit from a group of experienced returning starters on defense, including defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Although quarterback J.T. Barrett graduated, Ohio State comes in at No. 3, with Dwayne Haskins ready to take the reins under center.

Perhaps the biggest key to the Buckeyes' success in 2018 will be sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins, who rushed for over 1,400 yards last season.

The 2018 college football season will officially open on Aug. 25, and No. 1 Alabama will kick off its schedule against Louisville on Sept. 1. 


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