Alabama football ranked No. 1 in 2021 preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football is starting the new season the same way it finished the last one – No. 1.

The Crimson Tide received the top spot in the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll released Tuesday. The  Top 25 poll is voted on by 65 coaches from the 10 conferences plus independents. 

The Crimson Tide received 63 of 65 first-place votes. Oklahoma picked up the other two. 

Alabama heads into the season after going undefeated to win the program's 18th national championship. 

It's not a surprise that the Crimson Tide received the No. 1 spot. Those wearing the Crimson and white are almost always in contention for it. But the team does have plenty of question marks heading into the season. 

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Gone are first-round draft picks quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris and receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. In total, Alabama lost 10 players to the seven rounds of the draft, plus others who went the undrafted free agent route. 

But the Crimson Tide train chugs full steam ahead. Alabama has talent waiting to fill those holes, such as former five-star quarterback Bryce Young.

Not to mention, Nick Saban is coaching the Crimson Tide. Saban heads into his 15th season with the team and is aiming to win his seventh national title.

Alabama opens the season against Miami on Sept. 4 in Atlanta.

Preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Oklahoma

4. Ohio State

5. Georgia

6. Texas A&M

7. Notre Dame

8. Iowa State

9. North Carolina

10. Cincinnati

11. Florida

12. Oregon

13. LSU

14. USC

15. Wisconsin

16. Miami

17. Indiana

18. Iowa

19. Texas

20. Penn State

21. Washington

22. Oklahoma State

23. UL Lafayette

24. Coastal Carolina

25. Ole Miss