And here come the polls.
While we trickle out the Dr. Saturday Top 25 day-by-day until the season begins Aug. 26, USA Today unveiled its annual preseason coaches poll on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, Alabama, despite coming off a College Football Playoff national title loss to Clemson, topped the rankings at No. 1, receiving 49 first-place votes.
Ohio State, looking to rebound from getting shut out by eventual champion Clemson in the CFP semifinals, is No. 2 in the poll, ahead of Florida State at No. 3 and Rose Bowl champion USC at No. 4. Clemson, which beat the Crimson Tide in the final seconds to capture its second national title, came in at No. 5. However, Clemson did have the second-most first-place votes behind Alabama with seven.
Ohio State (5) and Florida State (4) were the only other schools to receive first-place votes.
The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by Big Ten champion Penn State at No. 6, Pac-12 champion Washington at No. 7, Big 12 champion Oklahoma at No. 8, Michigan at No. 9 and Big Ten West winner Wisconsin at 10.
Here is how the rest of the Top 25 shakes out:
11. Oklahoma State
19. Kansas State
20. West Virginia
21. South Florida
22. Virginia Tech
The SEC leads the poll with six entries, followed by the ACC and Big 12 with five apiece. The Big Ten has four teams in the poll, all of which were picked in the Top 10. The Pac-12 also has four teams and the Group of Five’s lone representative is South Florida of the AAC.
[More college football: Ranking the FBS conferences 1-10]
A bunch of other teams also received votes, led by Washington State (the No. 24 team in our Top 25):
This poll is conducted each week throughout the regular season and is picked by a group of head coaches from FBS schools who choose to participate. The coaches, if they are willing to participate, are “chosen by random draw.”
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