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My AP college football ballot: Preseason edition

There already is a Nick Saban statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium; what will Alabama do if he wins a second national title? Photo by Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

Oklahoma is No. 1 in the AP college football preseason poll, but Alabama gets the top spot on my ballot.

The Crimson Tide has to figure out its quarterback situation, but its defensive back seven is terrific, and coach Nick Saban knows a few things about winning with defense.

I like Alabama’s chances of reaching the national title game — even with one loss as it gets credit for having to navigate the treacherous SEC West — and I wouldn’t bet against the SEC in a BCS title game.

The AP instructs its media cast of characters to “Base your vote on performance, not reputation or preseason speculation,” which is, of course, impossible to do right now because all we have is preseason speculation.

Each week, that speculation gets partially replaced by results, and I would expect my rankings to vary greatly from week to week early in the season. Teams that post significant wins will vault to the top, no matter where they started in my preseason imagination.

Here is my preseason ballot:

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Boise State
6. Florida State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Stanford
9. Wisconsin
10. Texas A&M
11. Virginia Tech
12. Nebraska
13. South Carolina
14. TCU
15. Notre Dame
16. Arkansas
17. Michigan State
18. West Virginia
19. Ohio State
20. Mississippi State
21. Georgia
22. Missouri
23. Auburn
24. USC
25. Texas

Related: Which AP voter has Arizona on his Top 25 ballot?

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