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Preseason college football rankings: New 2016 Coaches Poll keeps Bama at No. 1

The more frequently cited AP Poll will be out August 21, while the first official Playoff rankings will arrive in midseason.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The first semi-meaningful poll for the 2016 college football season is out, and Alabama reigns supreme, but not by quite as wide a margin as the first-place vote count makes it appear. The Crimson Tide took home the top spot in the Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday, but only 61 points separated them from No. 2 Clemson.

1. Alabama (55 first place votes)
2. Clemson (7)
3. Oklahoma
4. Florida State (1)
5. Ohio State
6. LSU
7. Stanford
8. Michigan
9. Notre Dame
10. Tennessee (1)
11. Michigan State
12. Ole Miss
13. Houston
14. TCU
15. Iowa
16. Georgia
17. USC
18. Washington
19. Oklahoma State
20. North Carolina
21. Baylor
22. Oregon
23. Louisville
24. UCLA
25. Florida

Others Receiving VotesMiami (Fla.) 120; Wisconsin 82; Utah 73; Boise State 73; Washington State 47; Texas A&M 37; Texas 34; Arkansas 34; Northwestern 31; Navy 30; Mississippi State 19; San Diego State 18; Nebraska 17; Auburn 17; Western Kentucky 11; Pittsburgh 8; Brigham Young 6; Appalachian State 4; Duke 3; Arizona 2; Marshall 2; Toledo 2; South Florida 2; Memphis 1; Indiana 1; Northern Illinois 1.

A trio of gridiron bluebloods rounded out the top five; Oklahoma, Florida State, and Ohio State placed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. The rest of the top 15 suggested balance across the country; every Power 5 Conference but the Pac-12 was represented by at least two teams. Notre Dame and Houston were the only two programs outside those leagues to earn a spot with that prestigious group.

The coaches are higher on teams like LSU and Ohio State -- and lower on potential breakout teams like Washington and Arkansas -- than Bill Connelly was in his comprehensive 1-128 rankings.

The SEC led all conferences with six top-25 teams in all; Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Florida. The Pac 12 had five teams represented in the poll, and the remaining three Power 5 Conferences all placed four teams each.