AP has Crimson Tide second

TUSCALOOSA _ The University of Alabama football team was ranked second in the preseason Associated Press poll on Saturday morning, one of a record eighth Southeastern Conference teams to be in the Top 25.

Alabama received 17 first-place votes and 1,439 points, while reigning Big 12 champion Oklahoma had 36 of 60 first-place votes and 1,464 votes.

That’s closer than the coaches had it in early August: Oklahoma 1,454 points and 42 first-place votes, Alabama with 1,414 votes and 13 for No. 1.

Once again the SEC West had five ranked teams, although there were all in the top 20 in the coaches’ poll.

"I always say that preseason rankings are really for fans," Coach Nick Saban said. "It really doesn't have anything to do with the kind of team you have, the kind of team you're going to have. It's nice to be recognized and respected in that regard, but at the same time, how this team does will be what happens on the field.

"How do we do when we play the games? How much consistency do we play with? How do we compete for sixty minutes in a game? What kind of team chemistry do we have? What kind of positive energy do we have? Have responsible are we to do the things we need to do to be successful? How willing are we to work to earn what we want to accomplish?

"I think you do all that stuff on the field. You don't do it based on any kind of preseason predictions, polls or anything else. So it's pretty meaningless, actually. We're looking forward to the competition and what we need to do to try to have a good season. That's all going to be determined by what we do in the future, not what we've done in the past."

Alabama has five ranked opponents on its schedule:

No. 4 LSU;
No. 15 Arkansas;
No. 20 Mississippi State;
No. 22 Florida;
No. 23 Auburn.

Penn State is 25th in the coaches’ poll, but was unranked by the AP.

The Crimson Tide will host the top two opponents and visit the bottom four. It’ll twice face ranked opponents on back-to-back Saturdays, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 when it plays Arkansas and Florida, and Nov. 5-12 against LSU and Mississippi State.

Alabama ended up playing seven ranked teams last year, including its 49-7 victory over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.

The last time Alabama was No. 2 in a preseason poll was 1993, when it was coming off the 1992 national championship. It was also No. 2 in 1967, 1975, 1979 and 1980. During those seasons, the Crimson Tide finished atop the SEC in 1975 and won the national title in 1979.

Oklahoma has won the Associated Press national title four times after being the preseason No. 1 (1956, 1974, 1975 and 1985). However, the last three times it topped the preseason poll it finished third (1986, 1987 and 2003).

2011 PRESEASON ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
Record Pts Pv[/b]
1. Oklahoma (36) 12-2 1,464 6
2. Alabama (17) 10-3 1,439 10
3. Oregon (4) 12-1 1,330 3
4. LSU (1) 11-2 1,286 8
5. Boise St. (2) 12-1 1,200 9
6. Florida St. 10-4 1,168 17
7. Stanford 12-1 1,091 4
8. Texas A&M 9-4 965 19
9. Oklahoma St. 11-2 955 13
10. Nebraska 10-4 910 20
11. Wisconsin 11-2 900 7
12. South Carolina 9-5 848 22
13. Virginia Tech 11-3 821 16
14. TCU 13-0 690 2
15. Arkansas 10-3 686 12
16. Notre Dame 8-5 530 NR
17. Michigan St. 11-2 519 14
18. Ohio St. 12-1 443 5
19. Georgia 6-7 369 NR
20. Mississippi St. 9-4 361 15
21. Missouri 10-3 258 18
22. Florida 8-5 228 NR
23. Auburn 14-0 219 1
24. West Virginia 9-4 207 NR
25. Southern Cal 8-5 160 NR

Others receiving votes: Texas 114, Penn St. 75, Arizona St. 67, Miami 32, Utah 25, Southern Miss. 20, Iowa 19, BYU 15, NC State 15, Air Force 14, Houston 13, Pittsburgh 9, Michigan 7, Tennessee 5, UCF 5, Hawaii 4, N. Illinois 4, Tulsa 3, Arizona 2, Maryland 2, Nevada 1, Northwestern 1, Washington 1.

2011 PRESEASON USA TODAY COACHES POLL
Rank Team (first-place votes) 2010 record Points Final 2010 ranking

1. Oklahoma (42) 12-2 1,454 6
2. Alabama (13) 10-3 1,414 11
3. Oregon (2) 12-1 1,309 3
4. LSU (2) 11-2 1,296 8t
5. Florida State 10-4 1,116 16
6. Stanford 12-1 1,101 4
7. Boise State 12-1 1,065 7
8. Oklahoma State 11-2 933 10
9. Texas A&M 9-4 885 21
10. Wisconsin 11-2 829 8t
11. Nebraska 10-4 814 19
12.South Carolina 9-5 779 22
13.Virginia Tech 11-3 767 15
14.Arkansas 10-3 750 12
15.TCU 13-0 687 2
16. Ohio State 12-1 631 5
17.Michigan State 11-2 536 14
18. Notre Dame 8-5 440 NR
19. Auburn 14-0 329 1
20. Mississippi State 9-4 301 17
21. Missouri 10-3 266 18
22. Georgia 6-7 260 NR
23. Florida 8-5 240 NR
24. Texas 5-7 162 NR
25. Penn State 7-6 161 NR
Others receiving votes: Arizona State (6-6) 158; West Virginia (9-4) 149; Utah (10-3) 50; Miami (Fla.) (7-6) 49; Iowa (8-5) 41; Northwestern (7-6) 30; Arizona (7-6) 28; Central Florida (11-3) 22; Michigan (7-6) 19; Air Force (9-4) 15; North Carolina (8-5) 14; Houston (5-7) 13; South Florida (8-5) 9; Hawaii (10-4) 8; Clemson (6-7) 7; Tennessee (6-7) 7; Southern Miss (8-5) 6; Brigham Young (7-6) 5; North Carolina State (9-4) 4; Northern Illinois (11-3) 4; Oregon State (5-7) 4; Pittsburgh (8-5) 3; Washington (7-6) 3; Georgia Tech (6-7) 1; Nevada (13-1) 1.

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