Alabama football No. 1 in AP Top 25 preseason poll, marking epic milestone for Nick Saban

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News
Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA;   Coach Nick Saban and Alabama players hold the trophy amid a shower of confetti Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 following Alabama's 31-14 win over Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff Semifinal hosted by the Rose Bowl in AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama football is the No. 1 choice in the Associated Press preseason college football Top 25 poll released Monday, marking the program's 100th week atop the poll under coach Nick Saban. 

The Crimson Tide, which finished atop the final 2020 poll after completing an undefeated season with a win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff championship game, received 47 of 63 first-place votes, 86 points ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma.

Alabama has made a record 131 appearances at No. 1 since the AP began its weekly poll in 1936, including 100 appearances with Saban as coach.

The Crimson Tide has been voted the preseason No. 1 team by the AP in five previous seasons under Saban (2018, 2017, 2016, 2013 and 2010) with only the 2018 team going on to win the national championship. 

The Crimson Tide was also the preseason No. 1 choice in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll released last week.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt