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Alabama begins yet another season as the AP preseason No. 1

The Tide is the preseason No. 1 for the second straight year, the fifth of the last seven, and the seventh time of the Nick Saban era. However, there is hope for Alabama's challengers.

The 2022 season hasn't even begun yet, but Alabama has already extended its own record.

By earning a No. 1 ranking in the 2022 preseason AP poll, released Monday, Alabama has now earned at least one No. 1 ranking in 15 consecutive seasons, dating back to 2008. The previous record was seven, set by Miami from 1986 to 1992. Monday's poll marked 230 straight weeks in the AP poll, another record, dating back to Alabama's No. 24 ranking in the 2008 preseason poll. 

Coming off a 7-6 debut season, the Tide vaulted from No. 24 to No. 13 with a 34-10 victory over No. 9 Clemson, then sprung from No. 8 to No. 2 with a 41-30 triumph at No.  Georgia a month later, and have been at or near the top almost every week since.

This year marks Alabama's seventh preseason AP No. 1 of the Nick Saban era -- the second consecutive and the fifth of the last seven seasons. And if there's any consolation to the rest of FBS, it's that Alabama only won one title in the previous six seasons in which it started No. 1, though in the College Football Playoff era, the Tide is 4-for-4 in reaching the national championship game after beginning No. 1. 

Bettors have Alabama at +180 odds to win the sixth crown of the Saban era. Ohio State and Georgia are second and third at +300 and +350, respectively, while the next-closest team, Clemson, is +800. No other team is below +2,000. 

Alabama AP No. 1s, Nick Saban Era --  (Final AP Ranking)
2010 -- (No. 10)
2013 -- (No. 7)
2016 -- (No. 2)
2017 -- (No. 1)
2018 -- (No. 2)
2021 -- (No. 2)

The full poll:

1. Alabama -- 1,566 points (54 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State -- 1,506 (6)
3. Georgia -- 1,455 (3)
4. Clemson -- 1,292
5. Notre Dame -- 1,242
6. Texas A&M -- 1,212
7. Utah -- 1,209
8. Michigan -- 1,203
9. Oklahoma -- 956
10. Baylor -- 884
11. Oregon -- 831
12. Oklahoma State -- 814
13. NC State -- 752
14. USC -- 711
15. Michigan State -- 631
16. Miami -- 476
17. Pitt -- 383
18. Wisconsin -- 365
19. Arkansas -- 348
20. Kentucky -- 332
21. Ole Miss -- 324
22. Wake Forest -- 303
23. Cincinnati -- 265
24. Houston -- 263
25. BYU -- 234