- Alabama takes the No. 1 spot in SI's preseason Top 25, followed by Clemson, Florida State and Michigan.
Alabama finished last season atop the college football world after beating Clemson in the College Football Playoff title game. The Crimson Tide have a strong chance to end this season in the same spot. That's the best explanation for why the Alabama is No. 1 in our preseason rankings. Coach Nick Saban's crew will face plenty of competition, though, starting with two ACC powerhouses (No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Florida State), a Big Ten heavyweight on the rise (No. 4 Michigan) and a familiar SEC West foe (No. 5 LSU).
All of those teams look like safe bets to factor into the playoff conversation, but the national pecking order is less clear after that. Will Oklahoma (No. 6) emerge from the Big 12 to make another appearance in the national semifinals? Can Ohio State (No. 9) reload after enduring heavy losses to the NFL draft this off-season? Is either Washington (No. 7) or Tennessee (No. 10) capable of living up to the preseason hype? There are more questions than answers right now, but don't worry: The start of the season is just a few weeks away.