NEW YORK — Alabama will start this season where it ended last season. The Crimson Tide is on top.
Coach Nick Saban has the Tide rolling the way Bear Bryant did in his day, first in The Associated Press preseason poll for the first time since 1978.
Alabama received 54 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,491 points to easily outdistance second-ranked Ohio State in the Top 25 released Saturday.
The Buckeyes, who have been ranked no lower than 11th in the last eight preseason polls, received three first-place votes.
Boise State is third, its best preseason ranking, following another undefeated season. Underdogs no more, the Broncos even received one first-place vote.
Florida, Alabama's Southeastern Conference rival, is fourth. Fifth-ranked Texas received a first-place vote.
The rest of the top 10 has TCU sixth, followed by Oklahoma, which received a first-place vote, Nebraska, Iowa and Virginia Tech.
The 10th-ranked Hokies face Boise State at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, on Labor Day night in the season's first huge game.