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August 2, 2012Defending national champion Alabama will start off the season at No. 2 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll released today.
The Tide sits behind the LSU Tigers, who beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa during the regular season, but lost the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans. Southern California comes in at No. 3.
The top three teams are all close, with LSU receiving 18 first-place votes, Alabama 20 first-place votes and USC 19 first-place votes.
Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas round out the Top 10.
Alabama will open the season against the eighth ranked Wolverines in Dallas on Sept. 1.
SEC teams Florida and Auburn also made the preseason list, with Gators sitting at 23 and the Tigers at 25. Conference newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri received votes but did not make the top 25.
Alabama topped the preseason poll following the 2009 national championship and started at No. 2 in 2011.