But for the second straight year the Bulldogs finished the season unranked in the AP poll after being ranked.
Alabama is No. 1 in The Associated Press' preseason poll, the sixth time for the Tide overall and the fourth time under coach Nick Saban.
Alabama opens the season September 2 against third-ranked Florida State in Atlanta.
No need to overthink it: Alabama is No. 1 in the AP preseason Top 25. Florida State did it 11 seasons in a row (1990-2000). Florida State was third with four first-place votes.
Preseason rankings are rare in Manhattan.
Oklahoma State drew a preseason ranking for the fifth time in the past seven seasons, which is the best stretch in program history.
Other ACC teams included in the initial AP Poll were reigning national champion Clemson at No. 5, Louisville at No. 16, Miami at No. 18 and Virginia Tech at No. 21.
The AP preseason poll includes five teams from the Big 12. Ohio State was No. 2, edging No. 3 Florida State and preventing the first 1 vs. 2 opening game since the preseason poll began in 1950.
Alabama is the only Southeastern Conference team in the top 10, but the SEC still leads the way with six teams in the Top 25. SEC East rivals Georgia (No. 15) and Florida (No. 17) follow and Tennessee is No. 25.
I believe that several of these teams have a chance at the College Football Playoff, but I'd say that Clemson deserves to still be ranked ahead of the Nittany Lions, the Sooners, and Ohio State, especially with what the Tigers return on defense.
The Sooners were voted No. 7, while OSU checks in at No. 10 in the AP rankings.