In the final year of the BCS national championship, back-to-back defending champion Alabama begins atop the first Coaches Poll as they go for a three-peat that would cement the Crimson Tide as arguably the best dynasty in the history of college football.
Alabama has won three of the last four national championships, putting head coach Nick Saban on the Mouth Rushmore of college football coaches along with Bear Bryant, John McKay, and Frank Leahy.
The Crimson Tide received 58 first-place votes. No. 2 Ohio State received three first-place votes. Texas A&M received the other.
Oregon, at no. 3, and Stanford, at no. 4, give the Pac-12 two of the top four teams in the country. Stanford, with a dominant defense, a plethora of running backs, and quarterback Kevin Hogan is a legitimate national title contender.
LSU, at no. 13, has the talent to become a top-3 team and make its November 9 matchup with Alabama meaningful, as that battle has been the de facto national title game in recent years.
Two days before Alabama and LSU play, Oregon, in its first season after head coach Chip Kelly left the team for the Eagles, will travel to the Farm to face Stanford on Thursday November 7 in what could be a de facto national title semifinal matchup. Stanford defeated Oregon last season at Autzen, crushing Oregon’s national title hopes.
Boise State, at no. 19, and UCLA, with quarterback Brett Hundley, at no. 21, will be teams to watch on the west coast.
Here is the Coaches Poll:
2 Ohio St.
6 Texas A&M
7 South Carolina
11 Notre Dame
12 Florida St.
14 Oklahoma St.
19 Boise St.
25 Oregon St.