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SB Nation FanPulse Preseason Top 25 bestows the rat poison upon Clemson

And, Alabama is where it is most comfortable, firmly in No. 2

SB Nation’s new crowd-sourced fan poll, the FanPulse Top 25, launched this year. And it looks like enough of you folks signed up to where we have enough voters to get our own tab on the spreadsheet (huzzah!)

As expected, the Clemson Tigers are your SBN FP No. 1 team entering the season. That’s fair. To be the king you have to kill the king. And as Alabama fans know, being the hunted is a more dangerous proposition to defend week-in-and-out.

We even have a spiffy graphic for it!

But, there are two oddities here. The first is that Alabama has never won a national title as the pillar-to-post, wire-to-wire No. 1 team: it has always started the season ranked anywhere other than No. 1 when claiming a championship. The second is that out of the 66 fan sites on the network with enough eligible voters, Alabama fans didn’t care about that historical anomaly or Clemson’s reigning title: Crimson Tide fans were the only ones to vote Alabama No. 1.

You could say there is just too much ‘Bama in us, Pawwwl.

But, there are really good reasons to peg the Tide as the top team: Alabama’s talent is the best in the nation. It has the single best player in the nation. It has the best coach in the nation. It has the best offense and most dangerous wide receiving corps in the country. It will have the best corners in the country. Phil Steele pegs it with the best linebacking group in the country. Issues at kicker seem to be solved with the emergence of Will Reichard. The nation’s scariest player in open space returns its punts and kicks. It has the deepest defensive and offensive lines in the country. And Alabama has a favorable schedule...all playing with a ginormous chip on its shoulder.

So, I’m not going to say you’re Gumping if you voted the Tide No. 1 — in fact, objectively, you probably should.

If you participated, thank you very much. This will be your blog poll for the year — we’ll still have our own editorial version. And, as a reminder, there is a tight turnaround on these, so make sure that you get your votes in on time over the weekends (Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it looks sometimes). Let’s see if all this Gumping turns out to be prescient come next January.

(@Looking at your ballots next to mine, I can already see why they pay me those big blogger bucks.@)

AND, if you were late to the party originally, there’s still some time to sign up! You can do so here.

So, without further ado, here is SB Nation’s FanPulse Preseason Top 25 for 2019 — both the national ballot, and what you, gentle reader, think about the state of the game going into the season.

Preseason FanPulse Top 25 Ballots

Clemson Alabama
Alabama Clemson
Georgia Georgia
Oklahoma Oklahoma
Ohio State Ohio State
Michigan Michigan
Notre Dame Florida
Florida Notre Dame
Texas LSU
LSU Texas
Texas A&M Texas A&M
Oregon Oregon
Washington Washington
Penn State Penn State
Utah Utah
UCF Auburn
Wisconsin Wisconsin
Auburn UCF
Iowa Iowa
Iowa State Iowa State
Northwestern Miami
Miami Michigan State
Michigan State Northwestern
Nebraska Nebraska
Virginia Tech Mississippi State
Washington State Virginia Tech
Syracuse Washington State
Boise State Syracuse
Stanford Stanford
Army Boise State
Mississippi State
Oklahoma State

(P.S. You’re all so terribly wrong about Michigan. That is an 8-4 team, with a new offense and a decimated defense, hiding in the body of a 10-2 record — and that only because of a rebuilding B1G-East.)