NEW YORK — Alabama will begin this season the way it ended the last two — No. 1.

Nick Saban’s two-time defending national champions are top-ranked in The Associated Press preseason college football poll, with the Crimson Tide trying to become the first team to win three straight national titles.

Much like the BCS championship game against Notre Dame, the vote was an Alabama landslide. The Tide received 58 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel Saturday to easily outdistance No. 2 Ohio State. Alabama matched Florida in 2009 for the highest percentage of first-place votes received in the 63-year history of the preseason rankings.

The Buckeyes received one first-place vote.

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Oregon is No. 3, followed by Stanford and Georgia, which received the other first-place vote.

The SEC has six teams in the rankings. The Pac-12 and the Big Ten have five each. UCLA is No. 21, USC No. 24 and Oregon State No. 25.

Notes

• Dual-threat junior-college transfer Nick Marshall will be Auburn’s starting quarterback in the opener against Washington State. Auburn safety Demetruce McNeal was dismissed from the team after his arrest on a marijuana-possession charge.

• A man who testified he was fondled by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is the first to settle a civil claim against the university, the man’s attorney said. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the man received several million dollars.

• Ohio State suspended two more of its top players, cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith, for the Aug. 31 opener against Buffalo.

AP Top 25 poll
Preseason poll. First-place votes in parentheses.
Team Pts
1. Alabama (58) 1,498
2. Ohio St. (1) 1,365
3. Oregon 1,335
4. Stanford 1,294
5. Georgia (1) 1,249
6. South Carolina 1,154
7. Texas A&M 1,104
8. Clemson 1,083
9. Louisville 1,042
10. Florida 894
11. Florida St. 845
12. LSU 802
13. Oklahoma St. 755
14. Notre Dame 748
15. Texas 677
16. Oklahoma 579
17. Michigan 531
18. Nebraska 382
19. Boise St. 328
20. TCU 323
21. UCLA 286
22. Northwestern 199
23. Wisconsin 185
24. USC 134
25. Oregon St. 129
Others receiving votes: Michigan St. 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami 85, Arizona St. 53, Kansas St. 43, Fresno St. 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, N. Illinois 16, Mississippi 11, Utah St. 8, Georgia Tech 6, Arizona 3, Cincinnati 3, North Carolina 3, Penn St. 2, BYU 1.