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NCAA Football Preseason Rankings 2018: Expert Reactions to Amway Top 25

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2018

Alabama finds itself in a familiar position at the top of the college football rankings.
Alabama finds itself in a familiar position at the top of the college football rankings.Butch Dill/Associated Press

Once again, Alabama is in the top spot in college football.

The Crimson Tide are loaded for another run at the national title in the minds of college football coaches who voted them to their lofty perch in Thursday's preseason Amway Top 25 poll.

USA TODAY Sports @usatodaysports

Surprise, surprise! Look who's back on top of the @AmwayUS Coaches Poll. Check out the complete preseason top 25: https://t.co/jGlsuqpc2z https://t.co/3vjWCT883w

This is the fifth straight year that Alabama has entered the season in the top spot, and while that may look like the coaches have rubber-stamped the Crimson Tide to that position, head coach Nick Saban has a team that is loaded with talent and he has proven his worth as one of the game's all-time best coaches.

     

Amway Coaches Poll

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Washington
7. Wisconsin
8. Miami
9. Penn State
10. Auburn
11. Notre Dame
12. Michigan State
13. Stanford
14. Michigan
15. Southern California
16. TCU
17. Virginia Tech
18. Mississippi State
19. Florida State
20. West Virginia
21. Texas
22. Boise State
23. Central Florida
24. LSU
25. Oklahoma State

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Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia follow at Nos. 2, 3 and 4, respectively, and if those teams maintain their spots at the end of the season, they would conceivably join Alabama in college football's version of the Final Four: the College Football Playoff.

However, it would be highly unlikely for the season to play out just the way the coaches predicted.

If Alabama wasn't such a dominant team, there might be a boatload of criticism from any one of the contending schools, saying their team should be ranked at the top. That's not the case this year, but Clemson's Orange and White pointed out that the Tigers have consistently exceeded expectations:

Orange and White @orangeandwhite

JUST IN: The @AmwayUS Coaches Poll has arrived, and @ClemsonFB is #2. Find out who makes up this year’s preseason top 25. https://t.co/THTNNFQ1uI

Georgia made it all the way to overtime of the national championship game last year, and the Bulldogs have a powerful quarterback-running back combination in Jake Fromm and D'Andre Swift. Seth Emerson of The Athletic points out that the Bulldogs have not seen this kind of respect in a decade:

Seth Emerson @SethWEmerson

Georgia comes in at No. 4 in the preseason coaches poll. That’s the highest preseason rank since UGA was No. 1 in 2008. https://t.co/SYCgj5pmy2

USA Today college football writer Paul Myerberg pointed out that the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten and the Big 12 were all receiving quite a bit of respect from the coaches:

Paul Myerberg @PaulMyerberg

Breakdown by conference ... SEC: 5 (ranked 1, 4, 10, 18, 24) B10: 5 (ranked 3, 7, 9, 12, 14) B12: 5 (ranked 5, 16, 20, 21, 25) ACC: 4 (ranked 2, 8, 17, 19) P12: 3 (ranked 6, 13, 15) Independent: 1 (ranked 11) MWC: 1 (ranked 22) AAC: 1 (ranked 23)

Michigan is the fifth of five Big Ten schools in the poll, as they are behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State. The Wolverines face a brutal schedule, and it may be tough for Michigan to maintain its position, as Zach Shaw of CBS points out:

Zach Shaw @_ZachShaw

Michigan will open the season 14th in the Coaches Poll. With five opponents inside the top 12, staying there will be tough for the Wolverines. https://t.co/sqWidYjMr1 https://t.co/dxmDir2Ipy

UCF had an undefeated team last year and the Knights and issued a well-publicized challenge to Alabama at the end of the season. 

UCF Football @UCF_Football

Reason No. 130 why there’s no complacency around here. https://t.co/NfxM4Y9cQF

The Knights are ranked 23rd in the Amway poll and are clearly unhappy. 

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