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Mountaineers start 17th in AP preseason poll

Bama, Clemson lead AP preseason Top 25 poll

They received 42 of 61 first-place votes, including my own. The Crimson Tide now joins Oklahoma (1985-87) as just the second team to start the season No. 1 three years in a row.

Last year, for the first time in 13 years, the AP Top 25 panel of voters correctly identified the national champion in the preseason. The Big 10's Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes round out the Top-5. This is also the ninth consecutive year Alabama is rated among the top-3 teams in the nation by AP heading into the new season, the longest stretch in school history.

The Knights were ranked No. 23 in the preseason coaches' poll released earlier this month.

College football's "week zero" arrives later this week and, to celebrate the start of the 2018 season, The Associated Press released its first Top 25 offering of the campaign on Monday. It marked the first time the program had been ranked in a preseason poll. It was the tenth consecutive year in which the Seminoles have opened the season ranked in the AP poll.

As noted by Brett McMurphy, a high AP preseason ranking has been a pretty accurate predictor of national-championship success: Since 2004, only No. 22 Auburn in 2010 and No. 11 Florida State in 2013 won titles when ranked outside the preseason top 7.

Clemson followed Alabama with 1,476 points.