The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 17, 2013

Alabama No. 1 in AP preseason poll

— NEW YORK (AP) — Alabama will begin this season the way it ended the last two — No. 1.

Nick Saban's two-time defending national champions are top-ranked in The Associated Press preseason college football poll, with the Crimson Tide trying to become the first team to win three straight national titles.

Much like the BCS championship game against Notre Dame, the vote was an Alabama landslide. The Tide received 58 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel Saturday to easily outdistance No. 2 Ohio State. Alabama matched Florida in 2009 for the highest percentage of first-place votes received in the 63-year history of the preseason rankings.

The Buckeyes received one first-place vote.

Oregon is No. 3, followed by Stanford and Georgia, which received the other first-place vote.

Notre Dame, coming off a 42-14 loss in the BCS championship game to Alabama, is No. 14.

Alabama won its record ninth AP national championship last season, third BCS title in the last four years under Saban, and became the first team to win back-to-back BCS championships.

The Tide is AP preseason No. 1 for the fourth time, and first since 2010. Alabama was ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll each of the last two seasons. The only time has Alabama started and finished No. 1 was 1978, when Bear Bryant led the Crimson Tide to the fourth of its five national championships with him as coach.

Now Saban's Tide is trying to accomplish something Bear's boys never could. Twice Alabama won back-to-back championships under Bryant, but couldn't get the third.

Saban is hoping senior stars such as quarterback AJ McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive end Ed Stinson and guard Anthony Steen have enough memories of what went wrong for the 2010 Alabama team to avoid it happening in 2013.

"You're in a position here where we have a lot of players that really haven't lost much," Saban said earlier this week. "They have to really want to be good for the sake of being good.

Text Only
Sports
  • Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing

    The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 260 people who were injured, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them.

    April 15, 2014

  • Olympic great Michael Phelps ending retirement

    April 14, 2014

  • Bubba Watson wins another green jacket at Augusta

    One of golf's most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That's just fine with Bubba Watson.

    April 14, 2014

  • Mechanic gives himself belated 50th birthday gift

    Miguel Angel Jimenez gave himself a belated 50th birthday gift: one of the best rounds ever for a senior golfer at Augusta National.

    April 12, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Pistorius' story doesn't add up

    The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.

    April 11, 2014

  • Haas grabs Masters lead with 68, Scott in the mix

    With dad in his ear, Bill Haas turned in the best round of his Masters career Thursday.

    Now he wants to do what his father never could — finish the job.

    April 10, 2014

  • Rookies grab early Masters lead, Scott in the mix

    A pair of Masters rookies grabbed the early lead at Augusta National on Thursday, while defending champion Adam Scott was off to a strong start in his quest to keep the green jacket.

    April 10, 2014

  • Masters opens with Woods on the sideline

    The Masters is underway with three shots right down the middle of the fairway. Just not terribly far.

    Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial tee shots Thursday morning with fans already lining both sides of the first fairway. Still competitive even after all these years, Nicklaus went last and hit a drive that went about a yard past Player's shot.

    April 10, 2014

  • The anticipation and mystery of the Masters

    A quick stroll across the manicured landscape of Augusta National afforded a glimpse of why this Masters is so hard to figure out.

    April 9, 2014

  • Without Tiger, the Masters has an open look

    One after another, some of the world's best players and favorites to win the Masters trudged up the hill on the opening hole to start their practice rounds.

    April 9, 2014

Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee