The Associated Press released its annual preseason poll for college football on Monday and named Alabama its top-ranked team for the third consecutive season. The Crimson Tide now joins Oklahoma (1985-87) as just the second team to start the season No. 1 three years in a row.

This is also the ninth consecutive year Alabama is rated among the top-3 teams in the nation by AP heading into the new season, the longest stretch in school history.

Alabama is making its sixth appearance at No. 1 in the AP's preseason poll. UA also began the season No. 1 in the writers' rankings in 1966, 1978, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017. The No. 1 ranking is the 104th time the Crimson Tide have topped the AP poll since its inception in 1936, which is No. 2 all-time in poll history, one behind Ohio State’s 105 appearances.

The Crimson Tide has now been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll at least once in the last 11 seasons, the longest such streak in the history of the wire service’s rankings.

Alabama returns 12 starters from last season's squad that finished 13-1 and won the school’s 17th national championship. The Tide has claimed four of the last six SEC titles and five of the last nine national championships. Across the last 10 seasons under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama owns a 125-14 (.899) record.

Clemson claimed the No. 2 spot in the poll, while Georgia begins the 2018 season as the No. 3 overall team. Wisconsin and Ohio State round out the top five. The SEC placed five teams in the top 25 with three of those squads ranking in the top-10.

The Crimson Tide will face three teams ranked in the preseason top-25 poll, including Auburn (9), Mississippi State (18) and LSU (25).

Alabama opens its 2018 season against Louisville in the Camping World Kickoff Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 1. The matchup between the Crimson Tide and Cardinals is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press preseason college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 2017 records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and 2017 final ranking:

Record Pts Prv
1. Alabama (42) 13-1 1505 1
2. Clemson (18) 12-2 1476 4
3. Georgia 13-2 1350 2
4. Wisconsin (1) 13-1 1271 7
5. Ohio St. 12-2 1256 5
6. Washington 10-3 1215 16
7. Oklahoma 12-2 1173 3
8. Miami 10-3 1027 13
9. Auburn 10-4 1013 10
10. Penn St. 11-2 1012 8
11. Michigan St. 10-3 877 15
12. Notre Dame 10-3 804 11
13. Stanford 9-5 778 20
14. Michigan 8-5 773 -
15. Southern Cal 11-3 543 12
16. TCU 11-3 533 9
17. West Virginia 7-6 511 -
18. Mississippi St. 9-4 450 19
19. Florida St. 7-6 384 -
20. Virginia Tech 9-4 351 24
21. UCF 13-0 312 6
22. Boise St. 11-3 292 22
23. Texas 7-6 216 -
24. Oregon 7-6 148 -
25. LSU 9-4 106 18

Others receiving votes: South Carolina 96, Florida 68, Utah 60, Oklahoma St. 51, FAU 38, Arizona 28, NC State 22, Texas A&M 21, Boston College 18, Northwestern 13, Kansas St. 10, Iowa St. 8, Houston 6, Memphis 3, Troy 2, Iowa 2, Kentucky 1, Arkansas St. 1, Fresno St. 1.