The first USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches football poll was released on Tuesday and to the surprise of no one, the Alabama Crimson Tide will start the 2021 season on top at No. 1.
The Tide, of course, are coming off a dominant 13-0 season in 2020 where they blasted Ohio State 52-24 in the College Football Playoff final to capture their sixth national championship under head coach Nick Saban. Despite losing a school record six first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Alabama still enters the regular season as the favorite to claim yet another national title per DraftKings Sportsbook.
The second choice is Clemson, who checks in at +380 to win the College Football Playoff, and an astonishing -750 to take a seventh-straight ACC Championship.
Six of the Top 25 teams are from the SEC, including five of the first 13. The Big Ten places the second-most teams with five, but after Ohio State at No. 4, no one else makes the list until Wisconsin at No. 15.
The biggest surprise might be the Sun Belt finding two teams in the Top 25 with Coastal Carolina and Louisiana coming in ahead of the American Conference, which has just one in prohibitive favorite Cincinnati. This is the first time that three Group of Five teams have found their way into the preseason coaches poll.
Here is the complete USA Today Top 25 Preseason Poll for the 2021 college football season. Below is the breakdown by conference as well.
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Notre Dame
- Iowa State
- North Carolina
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Coastal Carolina
- Ole Miss
Here is the breakdown by conference:
Big Ten: 5
Big 12: 4
Sun Belt: 2