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Article updated: 8/1/2013 11:49 AM

Alabama No. 1 in coaches' poll; Northwestern No. 22

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates a first down in the closing seconds of the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State in Jacksonville, Fla. Northwestern will start the season No. 22 in the coaches’ poll.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates a first down in the closing seconds of the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State in Jacksonville, Fla. Northwestern will start the season No. 22 in the coaches' poll.

 

Associated Press/January 1, 2013

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By Associated Press

Alabama is No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches' poll.

The Crimson Tide was an overwhelming choice, receiving 58 of 62 first-place votes. Ohio State was second and received three first-place votes. Oregon is No. 3, Stanford is 4, Georgia is five and No. 6 Texas A&M received the other first-place vote.

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Notre Dame, which lost the BCS title game 42-14 to Alabama last season, is No. 11.

Northwestern, No. 22, is one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason poll. Michigan is rated No. 17, Nebraska is No 18 and Wisconsin is No. 23.

Half the top 10 is from the Southeastern Conference, which has won the last seven national championships, including three in the last four years by Alabama.

South Carolina is No. 7 and Florida is No. 10. No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Louisville round out the top 10. No. 12 LSU gives the SEC six teams in the top 25.

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