Football is king at Alabama, and it once again showed in The Tuscaloosa News’ annual ranking of Crimson Tide sports programs for the 2016-17 school year.

Alabama came within one play of winning back-to-back national titles in football, falling to Clemson in Tampa in the College Football Playoff , but won the SEC and finished No. 2 in the national rankings to place first among UA’s 19 athletic teams in voting by The News’ staff.

This marks the third year in a row and fourth time since The News’ staff began ranking UA athletic programs on a year-by-year basis in 2011 that football has been ranked No. 1 among UA teams for a school year.

Women’s golf placed second, with gymnastics and men’s track and field tied for third. Softball rounded out the top five.

You can check out how the TideSports staff has ranked UA teams over the last seven years here. You can see Alabama’s record against SEC opponents in 2016-17 here.

Capsules by Tommy Deas and Cody Estremera

Happy Crimson Tide players and Nick Saban celebrate Alabama’s 54-16 SEC Championship win in the Georgia Dome Saturday, December 3, 2016. Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.

1. Football
Coach: Nick Saban
Record: 14-1
SEC record: 8-0
SEC finish: First
National finish: Second
Highlight: Won its 26th overall league title and its third straight with a 54-16 win over Florida at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta
Low point: Fell to Clemson in final seconds of College Football Playoff Championship to fall short of taking back-to-back national titles
Top performer: Jonathan Allen won the Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski awards as the nation’s top defender

Mic Potter was named SEC Coach of the Year for the sixth time. He was previously honored in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. File photoEmma Talley, left, and Cheyenne Knight were named first-team All-SEC. File photos

2. Women’s golf
Coach: Mic Potter
SEC finish: Second
National finish: 14th
Highlight: Won four tournaments on the season, including the NCAA Regional in Athens, Georgia
Low point: Team shot 64-over par at NCAA Championships, including a 40-over first round score
Top performer: Sophomore Cheyenne Knight was named the SEC Player of the Year

t-3. Gymnastics
Coach: Dana Duckworth
Record: 7-4
SEC record: 4-3
SEC finish: Third
National finish: Sixth
Highlight: Participated in 23rd Super Six in 25 years, most by any school
Low point: Scored a season low in upset loss to No. 123 Arkansas, losing 195.825 to 195.325
Top performer: Senior Katie Bailey took first place on the uneven bars at the NCAA Championships

t-3. Men’s track and field
Coach: Dan Waters
SEC finish: Second indoor/third outdoor
National finish: Eighth indoor/10th outdoor
Highlight: Highest finish in 33 years at SEC Indoor Championships
Low point: UA started out ranked No. 17, but quickly jumped 10 spots in the rankings after winning the Auburn Invitational to open its indoor season
Top performer: Jareem Richards placed third in the 200 meters in both the SEC Championships and the NCAA’s outdoor championship meet

Alabama’s Alexis Osorio (20) pitches during a game against Kentucky at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Saturday April 23, 2016. Alabama won the game 7-1. staff photo/Erin Nelson

5. Softball
Coach: Patrick Murphy
Record: 46-18
SEC record: 13-11
SEC finish: Fifth
National finish: NCAA Super Regional; ranked 11th/12th in final polls
Highlight: Defeated top-ranked Minnesota twice to win Tuscaloosa Regional and extend its streak of making it to super regionals to 13 years
Low point: Lost two out of three at Ole Miss and did not win an SEC series in the final month of the regular season
Top performer: Junior pitcher Alexis Osorio earned first-team All-America honors

6. Men’s swimming and diving
Coach: Dennis Pursley
Record: 5-1
SEC record: 2-1
SEC finish: Fourth
National finish: 10th
Highlight: Finished in the top 10 for the third straight year for the first time since 1981-1983
Low point: Lost to Auburn for the third straight year in dual competition, and finished behind Florida, Georgia and Auburn in the SEC Championships
Top performer: Connor Oslin won the SEC 100 backstroke title and placed second in the 200, and finished third and fourth, respectively, in the events at the NCAA Championships

7. Men’s golf
Coach: Jay Seawell
SEC finish: Fourth (match-play semifinalist)
National finish: 17th
Highlight: Alabama played some of its best golf late in the season, making the semifinal round of match play in the SEC Championship and finishing third in the NCAA Regional at Sammamish, Washington.
Low point: The team missed making the final round of stroke play at the NCAA Championship by two strokes, falling short of a needed top-15 finish to advance
Top performer: Jonathan Hardee tied for 19th at the NCAA Championships

8. Women’s track and field
Coach: Dan Waters
SEC finish: Sixth indoor/seventh outdoor
National finish: Third indoor/28th outdoor
Highlight: Contended for the national title at the NCAA Indoor Championships with the highest point total in the event in program history
Low point: Performed below expectations at the outdoor national title meet, missing scoring opportunities after entering the event ranked No. 11
Top performer: Senior Quanesha Burks won the SEC title in the long jump in the outdoor meet and finished second in the NCAA Indoor Championships, and also ran on a second-place 4×100 relay team at the NCAA outdoor meet

Alabama forward Braxton Key (25) goes over the top of Stetson guard Luke Doyle (33) for a bucket but was charged with a player possession foul Thursday December 29, 2016. Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.

9. Men’s basketball
Coach: Avery Johnson
Record: 19-15
SEC record: 10-8
SEC finish: Fifth
National finish: NIT first round
Highlight: Upset No. 19 South Carolina in a four-overtime game and went on a run in the SEC Tournament, finally falling to No. 1 seed Kentucky
Low point: Alabama lost three of its last four games in the regular season to miss out on a hoped-for NCAA Tournament bid
Top performer: Braxton Key was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after averaging 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists

10. Men’s cross country
Coach: Dan Waters
SEC finish: Fifth
National finish: Fourth at NCAA South Regional
Highlight: Antibah Kosegi and Robbie Farnham-Rose qualified for the NCAA Championships
Low point: Finished 17th at Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational
Top performer: Senior Kosgei placed eighth in the SEC Championships

11. Women’s cross country
Coach: Dan Waters
SEC finish: Sixth
National finish: Fourth at NCAA South Regional
Highlight: Won the 2016 Crimson Classic
Low point: Finished 15th at Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational
Top performer: Freshman McKenzie Yanek finished 22nd in the SEC Championships

12. Volleyball
Coach: Ed Allen
Record: 20-11
SEC record: 9-9
SEC finish: Fifth
Highlight: Upset No. 19 Texas A&M and won 20 games for the third time in the last four years
Low point: Had a four-match losing streak from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3 in which Alabama was outscored lost 12 of 14 sets
Top performer: Senior Krystal Rivers was chosen SEC Player of the Year

Alabama head coach Kristy Curry disputes a call with an official during the first half of a game at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. [Staff Photo/Erin Nelson]
13. Women’s basketball
Coach: Kristy Curry
Record: 22-14
SEC record: 5-11
SEC finish: 11th
National finish: WNIT quarterfinals
Highlight: Beat Tennessee in regular season and SEC Tournamnet to run streak to three in a row over Lady Vols.
Low point: Went on a five-game losing streak that started in late January and carried into mid-February
Top performer: Jordan Lewis was named to the SEC All-Freshman team and won SEC Freshman of the Week honors five times

14. Women’s swimming and diving
Coach: Dennis Pursley
Record:  6-3
SEC record: 1-3
SEC finish: 10th
National finish: 43rd
Highlight: UA’s 200-meter medley relay team set a new school record at the SEC Championships
Low point: Finished 15 spots lower at NCAA Championships than in the previous year
Top performer: Junior Bailey Scott placed third in the SEC in the 50-meter freestyle and placed ninth in the 100-meter event

t-15. Soccer
Coach: Wes Hart
Record: 9-8-2
SEC record: 4-5-2
SEC finish: Ninth
Highlight: Won four more matches than the previous season, including an overtime upset of 14th-ranked Texas A&M in overtime
Low point: Lost in overtime of the first round of the SEC Tournament to Texas A&M in a rematch
Top performer: Goalkeeper Kat Stratton was named third-team All-South Region and ranked third in the SEC in total saves

t-15. Rowing
Coach: Larry Davis
Finish: Fourth in Big 12^
Highlight: Won four medals, including three gold, at Fira Regatta to finish fourth, UA’s highest since it joined the Big 12 in the sport
Low point: Failed to post a top-10 finish in any event at the Head of Charles regatta.
Top performer: Junior Nicole Lane earned first-team All-Big 12 and all-region honors

17. Men’s tennis
Coach: George Husack
Record: 11-17
SEC record: 2-10
SEC finish: 13th
Highlight: Upset No. 23 Kentucky on the road for its second SEC victory of the season
Low point: Lost first five SEC matches, including a 6-1 defeat at Auburn
Top performer: Mazen Osama garnered first-team All-SEC honors

18. Women’s tennis
Coach: Jenny Mainz
Record: 8-16
SEC record: 2-11
SEC finish: 14th
Highlight: Upset 12th-ranked Auburn in Tuscaloosa in early April
Low point: Lost first six matches of SEC season after going 6-4 in pre-conference play
Top performer: Senior Erin Routliffe earned first-team All-SEC honors for the fourth straight year

19. Baseball
Coach: Greg Goff*
Record: 19-34-1
SEC record: 5-24-1
SEC finish: 14th overall, seven in SEC West
National finish: Not ranked
Highlight: Swept Auburn in its three-game series, breaking a SEC losing streak of 13 games
Low point: Finished with its worst record since 1980 and failed to qualify for the SEC Tournament
Top performer: Sophomore Chandler Taylor led the team in home runs and RBIs and was named second-team All-SEC


*Fired at end of season

^UA competes in Big 12 in rowing because the SEC does not sponsor the sport