The college football season has a clear-cut favorite — Alabama.
The Crimson Tide, bidding to become the first program to win three straight national championships, collected 58 of 60 first-place votes in the preseason Associated Press poll revealed Saturday.
Second-place Ohio State received one, and Georgia, which fell to Alabama in last year’s SEC championship game, got the other.
The top 10: Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A, Clemson, Louisville and Florida.
The SEC, which has produced the last seven national champions, is once again projected to be the dominant conference in 2013 with five teams in the top 10 and six in the top 12.
The Big 12’s highest ranked team is No. 13 Oklahoma State. Texas is ranked No. 15, Oklahoma 16th and TCU 20th.
Kansas State, which shared last year’s Big 12 championship with Oklahoma, didn’t make the top 25. The Wildcats received enough votes to be 31st.
Nebraska checks in at No. 18.
Alabama is a preseason No. 1 for the fourth time. Once, in 1978, the Tide finished where it started, winning the national title. In 1966 and 2010 Alabama fell short.
Starting with the first AP poll in 1936, the preseason or first No. 1 ranked team has topped the final AP poll 10 times, and it hasn’t happened since 2004, when Southern California started and finished on top.
The AP top 10 nearly matches the USA Today Poll of coaches released earlier this month. The only difference: the coaches ranked A sixth and South Carolina seventh.
Preseason No. 1 (final AP ranking)
: Southern California (unranked)
: Oklahoma (16)
: Alabama (10)
: Florida (3)
: Georgia (13)
: Southern California (3)
: Ohio State (2)
: Southern California (2)
•2004: Southern California (1)