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Alabama No. 1 in AP preseason football poll

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

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

Notre Dame, coming off a 42-14 loss in the BCS championship game to Alabama, is No. 14.

For the second straight year, half the top 10 teams to start the season are from the SEC. Joining Alabama and Georgia are South Carolina at No. 6, Texas A&M at No. 7 and Florida at No. 10.

Gjerde bags ace at Little Crow CC

Ken Gjerde of Spicer recorded a hole-in-one on Saturday at the Little Crow Country Club.

Gjerde aced the Willows course’s 130-yard, No. 2 hole with a 5-wood.

Hawk Creek CC crowns club champions Saturday

Hawk Creek Country Club in Raymond crowned six champions Saturday at its annual Club Championships.

David Hinrichs clipped Zach Gerdes by four strokes to claim the Championship Flight, while Trisha Kienitz won the Women’s Flight.

Other winners were Gene Dragt in ‘A’ Flight, Doug VanHauen in a ‘B’ Flight playoff, Ron Ulferts in Seniors Flight and Levi Hauser in Junior Flight.