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Alabama No. 1, Clemson No. 2 in first coaches poll of 2021 season

The first poll of the 2021 college football season is out and the usual suspects are at the top.

Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood kisses the trophy as he celebrates with and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith and Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Landon Dickerson after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes at the College Football Playoff National Championship football game on January 11, 2021 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches football poll was released on Tuesday and to the surprise of no one, the Alabama Crimson Tide will start the 2021 season on top at No. 1.

The Tide, of course, are coming off a dominant 13-0 season in 2020 where they blasted Ohio State 52-24 in the College Football Playoff final to capture their sixth national championship under head coach Nick Saban. Despite losing a school record six first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Alabama still enters the regular season as the favorite to claim yet another national title per DraftKings Sportsbook.

The second choice is Clemson, who checks in at +380 to win the College Football Playoff, and an astonishing -750 to take a seventh-straight ACC Championship.

Six of the Top 25 teams are from the SEC, including five of the first 13. The Big Ten places the second-most teams with five, but after Ohio State at No. 4, no one else makes the list until Wisconsin at No. 15.

The biggest surprise might be the Sun Belt finding two teams in the Top 25 with Coastal Carolina and Louisiana coming in ahead of the American Conference, which has just one in prohibitive favorite Cincinnati. This is the first time that three Group of Five teams have found their way into the preseason coaches poll.

Here is the complete USA Today Top 25 Preseason Poll for the 2021 college football season. Below is the breakdown by conference as well.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Ohio State
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Iowa State
  9. North Carolina
  10. Cincinnati
  11. Florida
  12. Oregon
  13. LSU
  14. USC
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Miami
  17. Indiana
  18. Iowa
  19. Texas
  20. Penn State
  21. Washington
  22. Oklahoma State
  23. Louisiana
  24. Coastal Carolina
  25. Ole Miss

Here is the breakdown by conference:

SEC: 6
Big Ten: 5
Big 12: 4
ACC: 3
Pac-12: 3
Sun Belt: 2
American: 1
Independent: 1