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).
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.