Alabama opens defense of its national championship against USC; the Trojans, coincidentally, are the last team to start and finish a season atop the AP poll, going wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team in 2004.
Clemson, the team Alabama defeated 45-40 to take last season's championship, begins 2016 ranked second. Clemson opens this season by visiting Auburn.
Oklahoma is third, Florida State fourth and LSU, which received one first-place vote, is fifth.
The teams ranked sixth through 10th are Ohio State, Michigan, Stanford, Tennessee and and Notre Dame.
Other SEC teams in the poll are Ole Miss at 11th, Georgia at 18th and Florida at 25th.
The SEC led with six teams in the top 25, with the Pac-12 second with five. The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each had four, while the AAC and independent ranks each had one.
(You can follow Chadd Scott on Twitter @ChaddScott)
© 2016, Chadd Scott. All rights reserved.
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