South Carolina is No. 6, Texas A&M No. 7, Florida No. 10 and LSU No. 12.
Alabama was a near-unanimous pick for the top spot, receiving 58 of 60 first-place votes.
Alabama ties Florida in 2009 with the highest percentage of first-place votes. That Gators team lost to eventual national champion Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Bob Assmussen of the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette and Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett News Service were the only voters to put anyone other than Alabama No. 1.
Assmussen voted for Ohio State, while Guilbeau, who is based in Baton Rouge, La., voted Georgia No. 1. Both had the Crimson Tide No. 2.
Alabama is atop the poll for the fourth time. The Crimson Tide were also preseason No. 1 in 1966, 1978 and 2010. They won the title in 1978, losing to USC in the regular season before winning their final nine games.
Two teams have gone wire-to-wire in the poll — Florida State in 1999 and USC in 2004. The Trojans were the last team to start and finish the season No. 1.