Alabama came in as No. 1 for the third straight year in the AP’s preseason top 25. This is my first year as a voter, and I’ll do my best to list my ballot for you all each week during the season. The poll is released on Sundays during the season, so you can check back then.

One note: The deadline to file our ballot was last week. That created some difficulty about where to put Ohio State, given the questions about Urban Meyer’s future. The Buckeyes are third on my ballot, which is where I’d have them if Meyer remains head coach. Here’s my thinking: Meyer was still the head coach (although on leave) when the ballot was due, so I ranked the Buckeyes according to that information. If he’s fired this week at the end of their investigation, there’s a good possibility that I’d drop them in the next ballot.

Here’s my ballot:

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

Reach Ben Jones at or 205-722-0196.