It’s the moment we know you’ve all been waiting for:
Coaches Poll season!
The release of the poll finally came about on Thursday afternoon. To no astonishment, the Southeastern Conference is very well represented. The Alabama Crimson Tide find themselves aloft the field, checking in at No. 1 after winning the College Football Playoff earlier this year against the Clemson Tigers. The usual turnover is occurring in Tuscaloosa, notably so with the absence of Ryan Kelly and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry but the Tide still have hoards of talent on defense, led by the likes of Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster.
The Tide were given 55 first-place votes amongst the field. Seven others went to the Clemson Tigers who checked in at No. 2 behind Alabama while another first-place vote went to the Florida State Seminoles. The Top 5 features Alabama, Clemson, the Oklahoma Sooners, FSU and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The LSU Tigers stand at No. 6, meanwhile. After a 9-3 campaign, Les Miles and the Tigers look ready to get back to prominence with a vaunted defense and top running back Leonard Fournette heading the charge on offense.
LSU didn’t receive any first-place votes, but the SEC East favorites did. The Tennessee Volunteers are ranked 10th in the preseason poll and received one first-place vote among the 64 that were issued out. The likes of Josh Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, Derek Barnett and Jalen Reeves-Maybin will hope to lead UT to their first SEC East Championship in almost a decade this year and look to get the proverbial monkey off their back. There’s a lot of hype in Knoxville, and that seems to be indicative of their standing in the poll right now.
The remainder of the Top 10 features the Stanford Cardinal, Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish who rank 7-8-9 in the poll.
Alabama, LSU, and Tennessee are three of six teams to be featured in the preseason Top 25. The Ole Miss Rebels, Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators join the aforementioned teams, ranking 12th, 16th and 25th respectively.
Others who received votes from the conference were Texas A&M (37), Arkansas (34), Mississippi State (19), and Auburn (17).