The Associated Press won’t release its preseason poll until August, but one college football expert has offered his prediction of who will be ranked in the top 10 this summer.

Phil Steele, a nationally recognized college football analyst, sees three SEC teams making the AP’s initial top 10:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Florida State
  5. LSU
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan
  8. Baylor
  9. Stanford
  10. Tennessee

Steele predicts four or five teams will earn first-place votes, but defending champion Alabama should come away with the most.

For LSU’s No. 5 ranking, Steele cites the Tigers’ 18 returning starters, including preseason Heisman candidate RB Leonard Fournette.

With Tennessee returning 17 starters, including veteran leaders QB Josh Dobbs and RB Jalen Hurd, Steele thinks the voters will be feeling the Volunteers this summer.

Some fans will certainly chime in that preseason rankings don’t matter, as it’s the end of the season rankings that actually mean something. Even though the AP poll does not officially factor into the College Football Playoff, it’s certainly a factor in how teams are perceived by the committee.

Unless there’s an SEC team not on the list who will run the table, Alabama, LSU and Tennessee could be getting some help by starting with a high ranking.