The first USA Today Coaches Poll of 2013 was released on Thursday, and surprise, surprise: the Alabama Crimson Tide is No. 1.
Of the 62 head coaches who participate in the poll, 58 cast their first place votes for the defending national champion Tide. Ohio State received three first place votes, and the only team to beat Alabama in 2012, Texas A&M, garnered one vote.
A few surprises: the USC Trojans, who were ranked No. 3 in the preseason Coaches Poll a year ago but finished with a tremendous thud, checked in at No. 24. USC is ahead of the Oregon State Beavers, the fifth and final Pac-12 team ranked.
The Pac-12 tied the Big Ten for second most ranked teams. The SEC leads with six: Alabama, Georgia (5), Texas A&M (6), South Carolina (7), Florida (10) and LSU (13). Vanderbilt, which finished 2012 ranked No. 20, was left off.
Just one team outside of the six BCS conferences landed in the initial poll: Boise State, at No. 19. By contrast, five non-BCS teams were ranked at season’s end a year ago: BSU, Northern Illinois, San Jose State, Utah State and Tulsa.
Click here for the complete USA Today Coaches Poll and check out how it compares to the FanSided Top 25 preseason poll.