By Erik Harris
Another mile marker has been passed on the road to college football kickoff. Coaches from across the country have spoken and revealed both Alabama and Auburn as top 10 teams heading into the 2015 season.
On Thursday morning USA Today revealed its preseason coaches poll, which listed the Crimson Tide as the nation’s No. 3 team and the Tigers No. 7.
This is the first time since Alabama head coach Nick Saban won the BCS National Championship in 2009 that his team has not been ranked in the top two of the coaches poll heading into the season. Alabama sits behind No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 TCU. See the full breakdown of the Amway Coaches Poll at usatoday.com.
The Buckeyes picked up 62 of the 64 first-place votes, giving them the top spot by a lengthy margin. Alabama and TCU grabbed the remaining two first-place votes.
Including the two in-state schools, the Southeastern Conference places eight teams inside the top 25. Representing the conference, which was believed to be loosing some of its dominant perception, is No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 Auburn, No. 9 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, No. 15 Ole Miss, No. 20 Arkansas, No. 23 Missouri and No. 25 Tennessee.
Both Mississippi State and Texas A&M received several votes, placing the two division foes on the welcome mat of the initial rankings. Vanderbilt was the only SEC program not to receive a top 25 vote.
Seven of the Crimson Tide’s 12 regular-season opponents fall inside the nation’s top 25, while nine of those 12 rank in the top 27. Saban will face what many believe is the harshest gauntlet in the country.
The Tigers have five top 25 teams to battle throughout the regular season.