Alabama Crimson Tide Top USA Today Pre-Season Coaches Poll

August 6, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

When the USA Today Coaches’ poll was released Friday morning, a familiar team was sitting atop the top-25 college football programs in the country. The Alabama Crimson Tide will go into the 2010 college football season where they finished just a year ago: first place. College football betting lines are sure to favor the 2009-2010 BCS National Champions in most of their games next season.

The Crimson Tide met the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl for the chance to win their first BCS national championship in school history. The Crimson Tide won the game 37-21 behind a 24-point second quarter. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was knocked out early in his last game as an amateur.

The Longhorns are positioned in the fourth spot behind Ohio State and Florida respectively. The Buckeyes won their fifth conference championship in a row last season, and were impressive in their New Year’s Day victory over the Oregon Ducks 26-17. Terrelle Pryor is hoping to lead his team beyond their 10-2 season last year, and win their first BCS National Championship since 2002.

The Gators will have a new starter under center when they take the field in the Swamp. John Brantley saw limited playing time last season behind Tim Tebow, but looked impressive on the back-end of blowouts. He also saw time when Tebow went down with a concussion in their road game with the Kentucky Wildcats. College football future lines will surely mimic those of last season for the Gators if Brantley proves to be the offensive weapon he is expected to be.

Rounding out the top five are the Boise State Broncos. Chris Peterson’s football team definitely doesn’t always get therespect it deserves, but they have proven in the past that they should be considered on of the top teams in the country. They defeated a defensively sound TCU Horned Frogs team in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl 17-10.

The rest of the top ten are as follows: Virginia Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa. All of these teams have questions surrounding their programs going into next season. Can TCU feed off their impressive performance a year ago? Will Oklahoma return to national championship contention? One thing is for certain, there will certainly be a lot of shifting among teams in the top 20 as the 2010 college football season is played out.

“Alabama is the team that everybody has to beat,” says Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. “They’re coming off a national championship. A great football team. Very good players. Very well-coached.”

Petrino’s Razorbacks are currently in the No. 19 spot, just ahead of the Florida State Seminoles. After a disappointing 2009 finish of 7-6, quarterback Christian Ponder will be among the Heisman Trophy contenders if he can stay healthy for the ‘Noles.

NCAA football betting odds have set Alabama as the favorite to win the 2011 BCS National Championship game at +450 odds. Ohio State and Oklahoma are second among the favorites at +600 and +700 respectively.

Here is the complete 2010 USA Today Coaches’ Poll:

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Florida
4. Texas
5. Boise State
6. Virginia Tech
7. TCU
8. Oklahoma
9. Nebraska
10. Iowa
11. Oregon
12. Wisconsin
13. Miami (Fla.)
14. Penn State
15. Pittsburgh
16. LSU
17. Georgia Tech
18. North Carolina
19. Arkansas
20. Florida State
21. Georgia
22. Oregon State
23. Auburn
24t. Utah
24t. West Virginia

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