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Bama tops first AP poll

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Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron runs for a touchdown against LSU in 2012. (Source: Alabama Athletics) Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron runs for a touchdown against LSU in 2012. (Source: Alabama Athletics)
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(RNN) – Just as expected, Alabama is on top of the Associated Press college football poll.

The two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide will begin their quest for the first college football three-peat from the pole position.

Alabama received 58 of the 60 first-place votes, easily distancing second-ranked Ohio State, which took one of the remaining two top nods. The Buckeyes finished last season 12-0, but were ineligible for postseason play.

Ohio State finished last season ranked No. 3 by the AP, behind Oregon.

Oregon opens up as the No. 3 team following last season's Fiesta Bowl win, Stanford is ranked fourth coming off its 2013 Rose Bowl win and Georgia, which lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game before winning the Capitol One Bowl, is fifth and earned the final first-place vote.

South Carolina is sixth, followed by Texas A&M, which was the only team to beat Alabama last season and returns Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. Clemson, Louisville and Florida round out the top 10.

Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Texas complete the top 15. Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State, Texas Christian, UCLA, Northwestern Wisconsin, Southern California and Oregon State complete the poll.

Notre Dame lost the BCS national championship game to Alabama last season in a 42-14 rout and was ranked No. 4 in the AP poll to close the season. This year, however, the Irish are without Heisman runner-up Manti Te'o and quarterback Everett Golson, who was suspended for the 2013 season for  "poor academic judgement."

The AP poll is not included in the BCS formula.

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