Alabama preseason No. 1 in coaches poll, followed by Clemson; UNC is 9th

College Football

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney answers a question during an NCAA college football news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference media days in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

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Defending national champion Alabama is the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll released Tuesday

The Crimson Tide got 63 of the 65 first-place votes while No. 3 Oklahoma got the other two. Clemson is No. 2 with Ohio State and Georgia rounding out the top five.

No. 8 Iowa State has its highest preseason ranking since USA Today started administering the coaches poll in 1991. So does No. 10 Cincinnati.

At No. 17, Indiana is ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll for the first time. And Mack Brown’s North Carolina team is ranked ninth, its best opening slot since heading into the season at No. 8 in 1997.

The Associated Press Top 25 will be released Aug. 16.

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