Associated Press (AP) released their poll ranking and once again, Alabama tops the list at number one for the third straight season, the first team to do so since Oklahoma in 1985-1987. Rounding out the rest of the top 5 was Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Ohio State at number five. Bama looks to repeat this year but will have some tough teams to face in the SEC this year, including number three, ranked Georgia led by sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm. Bama Head Coach Nick Saban has won 5 national titles since taking over back in 2009.
Saban will have to answer to the Roll Tide’s diehard fan base the biggest question heading into the new season. Who will start at quarterback? In last season’s National Championship game, now junior quarterback Jalen Hurts struggled against Georgia. After being down just 13-0 entering halftime, Saban decided he had enough and put in then-freshman quarterback from Hawaii, Tua Tagovailoa. With the pressure of being center stage in college football’s biggest game of the year, Tua stepped up and led Bama to a 26-23 victory in overtime.
Heading into the new season, it appears that Saban is leaning towards starting Tua over Jalen Hurts. But, ultimately it’s up to Saban. QB Fromm will look to bounce back and lead Georgia on another run to compete for the National Championship again despite having an underwhelming camp. Clemson, now focused on their defense after losing former quarterback DeShaun Watson, looks at competing for another bid. Wisconsin in the same boat will look to have defense carry them to a National Championship. Maintaining momentum and success will be the challenge for them as that is usually the problem for the Badgers when they are ranked in the top five.
Ohio State will either have a great year of football, or a year overshadowed by off-field issues. No doubt, the investigation of head coach Urban Meyer for covering for an assistant coach accused of domestic violence, has already been a distraction for the team. This will also be a bad look for the university for future recruits. Having a group of solid veterans and a new five-star recruit freshman, this might be the fall of Ohio State before it even gets a chance to rise. Some colleges start August 25, but the rest of college football starts September 1 across the nation.