Buckle your seatbelts and get ready for the surprise of the year: The 2018-19 AP preseason poll was released last Monday, and Alabama was ranked No. 1.
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It is the third straight year atop the preseason poll for the Crimson Tide. Over the past three seasons, Alabama has held the No. 1 spot in 27 of 32 weeks. Guess no one in Tuscaloosa ever learned how to share.
Still, the season is young, and we’ve seen plenty of chaos in the AP polls of years past. How long will the Crimson Tide’s reign atop the rankings last this year?
RELATED: Alabama No. 1, Clemson right behind in first AP Poll
Follow along here every week as we break down the AP Top 25 by the numbers.
11 — Seasons in a row that Alabama has been ranked No. 1 at some point, extending their record. That’s four more times than Miami from 1986-1992, which is the runner-up.
7 — Conferences represented in the preseason poll (excluding independent schools). The Big Ten and SEC lead the way with five teams each, while the ACC, Pac-12, and Big 12 have four representatives. By weighting the teams inversely to their rankings (i.e., No. 25 is worth 1 point, No. 1 is worth 25 points, etc.), the Big Ten reigns supreme, thanks to having four teams in the top 11. The SEC is close behind, helped by two teams in the top three via Alabama and Georgia, both halves of last year’s national title matchup.
|Big Ten||5||No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 10 Penn State, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 14 Michigan||86|
|SEC||5||No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 9 Auburn, No. 18 Mississippi State, No. 25 LSU||74|
|ACC||4||No. 2 Clemson, No. 8 Miami, No. 19 Florida State, No. 20 Virginia Tech||55|
|Pac-12||4||No. 6 Washington, No. 13 Stanford, No. 15 USC, No. 24 Oregon||46|
|Big 12||4||No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 16 TCU, No. 17 West Virginia, No. 23 Texas||41|
|Independent||1||No. 12 Notre Dame||14|
|AAC||1||No. 21 UCF||5|
|MWC||1||No. 22 Boise State||4|
16 — Teams that were ranked in both the preseason and final AP polls last year. Of those, 14 are ranked to start the season this year: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Wisconsin.
2 — Ranked-v-ranked matchups scheduled for Week 1. Saturday at 3:30 p.m., ET, No. 6 Washington and No. 9 Auburn kick off the first ranked game of the year, followed by No. 12 Notre Dame hosting No. 14 Michigan at 7:30 p.m. Not a bad slate for the first weekend.
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5 — Teams in the preseason Top 25 that had fewer than nine wins last season. In last year's final AP poll, 21 teams had 10 or more wins, and no team had fewer than nine. This year, No. 14 Michigan (8-5 last year), No. 17 West Virginia (7-6 last year), No. 19 Florida State (7-6 last year), No. 23 Texas (7-6 last year), and No. 24 Oregon (7-6 last year) all fall below that mark.