The first AP Poll of the 2018 season is out, and defending national champion Alabama tops the rankings.

The full top 25:

The Crimson Tide are No. 1, but they only edged No. 2 Clemson by 29 points. That’s reasonable. Alabama is fresh off a national title and is absolutely loaded on both sides of the ball. Its biggest question: quarterback, where Nick Saban is choosing between a guy who’s brought Alabama to two straight title games (Jalen Hurts) and another who came off the bench to win a ring in the second half against Georgia (Tua Tagovailoa).

Hurts is steady, but lacks star potential. Tagovailoa looks like he could be spectacular, but we haven’t seen enough of him to really know.

Most college football programs would love for this to be their most pressing issue. Alabama’s defense and running game should be as dominant as ever, so it’s going to be another big year in Tuscaloosa.

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Clemson is right behind Alabama, and there’s an argument to be made that the Tigers’ defense will be the best in the country. They bring back their entire front seven from last year, which was already a standout group. Several key players could have bolted for the NFL but chose to stay in school.

The Tigers are going to terrorize opposing backfields. Most teams don’t have a defensive player as good as Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence or Christian Wilkins. Clemson will use all of them at the same time; double team one, and there are a handful of others who can dominate one-on-one matchups.

Clemson’s offense was good enough to run through the ACC last season, but it faltered against Alabama in the biggest game of the season. Kelly Bryant has some Hurts to his game, and the Tigers welcome heralded freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

In order for Clemson to overtake Alabama, one of two things needs to happen: either Bryant becomes more than a game manager, or Lawrence is as good as advertised right away.

Both are conceivable. Alabama and Clemson could face one another for the fourth College Football Playoff in a row.

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There’s a fairly big gap between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Georgia in voters’ minds, but the Bulldogs are still national title contenders. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are gone, which stings. Roquan Smith’s departure hurts the defense. But D’Andre Swift is a darkhorse Heisman candidate and Kirby Smart has built up outstanding depth in Athens. Smart doesn’t have as reliable of a track record as Saban or Dabo Swinney, so it’s fair to slot Georgia behind those two considering the losses. But the Bulldogs are supremely talented; they just need a few first-year starters to pop.