In a way, the 2016 season will pick up where 2015 left off: Alabama is No. 1 and Clemson is No. 2.
The defending national champion Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the fifth time overall and third time under coach Nick Saban.
The Tide received 33 of 61 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,469 points in the poll released Sunday. No. 2 Clemson, which lost a thrilling College Football Playoff championship game to Alabama in January, received 16 first-place votes and 1,443 points. This is the first time since 1992 that the teams that ended the previous season at Nos. 1 and 2 in the AP poll began the next season in the same spots. Miami (Fla.) and Washington did it that season.
Oklahoma is No. 3 in the preseason poll and received four first-place votes. No. 4 Florida State had five first-place votes. No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 7 Michigan all received one first-place vote. A year after Ohio State became the first unanimous preseason No. 1 in the history of the AP poll, seven teams received first-place votes, the most in the preseason since 1998.
Stanford is No. 8, followed by No. 9 Tennessee and No. 10 Notre Dame.
Alabama has won an unprecedented four national championships in the past seven seasons, but none has come when the Tide started No. 1. That’s one of a couple of trends the Tide will be trying to buck this season. The last preseason No. 1 to win the national championship was Southern California in 2004. Alabama is the fourth consecutive defending champ to start the next season No. 1.
“It’s basically human condition to get satisfied with success,” said Saban, 105-18 at Alabama. “There’s a lot of books written on how to be successful. There’s not a lot of books written on how to stay successful.”
Fighting Irish hand down discipline
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he has kicked starting safety Max Redfield off the team and suspended reserve cornerback Devin Butler indefinitely after they were arrested in separate incidents.
Kelly said four others arrested with Redfield after state police say they found marijuana and a loaded handgun inside their car are subject to internal discipline.
The St. Joseph (Ind.) County prosecutor’s office has said Butler faces possible charges of resisting law enforcement and battery to a police officer, both felonies, after he allegedly punched a police officer and slammed him to the ground outside a bar.