Alabama, which lost to Georgia in last season's College Football Playoff championship game, is the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 team in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, announced Monday. The Crimson Tide, who have won six national championships under coach Nick Saban, received 54 of 66 first-place votes and 1,634 points to top No. 2 Ohio State, which had five first-place votes and 1,564 points.
Georgia is third in the poll with six first-place votes and 1,542 points, ahead of No. 4 Clemson (1,356) and No. 5 Notre Dame (1,284). Defending Big Ten champion Michigan is sixth, followed by Texas A&M, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor in the top 10.
Joining the Buckeyes and Wolverines in the top 25 from the Big Ten are No. 14 Michigan State and No. 20 Wisconsin. The Gophers received six points, good for 43rd. Iowa (248) and Penn State (246) were 26th and 27th, respectively.
Minnesota went 9-4 last season and was ranked No. 29 in the final 2021 coaches poll. The Gophers have five opponents on their 2022 schedule that received votes in the poll: No. 14 Michigan State on Sept. 24 in East Lansing, No. 20 Wisconsin on Nov. 26 in Madison, No. 26 Iowa on Nov. 19 in Minneapolis, No. 27 Penn State on Oct. 22 in State College and Purdue, tied for 48th with two points, on Oct. 1 in Minneapolis.