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Florida State tops preseason Coaches' Poll


In the least surprising news of the day, reigning national champion Florida State topped the 2014 preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released on Thursday. 

Florida State is just the second non-SEC team to earn the coaches' top spot since 2008, joining Oklahoma in 2011. Unfortunately for the 'Noles, the coaches' recent history of prognostication proves the No. 1 spot is something to be feared, not cherished.

Here is a listing of the last 10 preseason No. 1's in the Coaches' Poll (bold denotes a defending national champion).






 11-2 (8th) 



10-3 (12th) 



10-3 (15th)



10-3 (11th)



13-1 (3rd)



10-3 (10th)



11-2 (2nd)


Ohio State

12-1 (2nd)



12-1 (2nd)



13-0 (1st)

Note that only once has a team gone wire-to-wire at No. 1, and that was 10 years ago. (That title, of course, was later taken away.) The last four preseason No. 1's have all finished eighth, 12th, 15th, and 11th, and all have suffered multiple losses. 

The full Top 25:

1. Florida State - 1,543 points (56 first-place votes)
2. Alabama - 1,455
3. Oklahoma - 1,382 (3)
4. Oregon - 1,314 (1)
5. Auburn - 1,271
6. Ohio State - 1,267 (1)
7. UCLA - 1,085
8. Michigan State - 1,050
9. South Carolina - 1,009 (1)
10. Baylor - 965
11. Stanford - 955
12. Georgia - 905
13. LSU - 833
14. Wisconsin - 654
15. USC - 627
16. Clemson - 535
17. Notre Dame - 509
18. Arizona State - 358
19. Ole Miss - 346
20. Texas A&M - 266
21. Kansas State - 257
22. Nebraska - 228 
23. North Carolina - 175
24. Texas - 143
25. Washington - 142 

Others receiving votes: Missouri (126), Florida (122), Central Florida (102), Mississippi State (74), Oklahoma State (56), TCU (54), Michigan (53), Miami (45), Duke (41), Louisville (32), Marshall (27), BYU (18), Boise State (13), Louisiana-Lafayette (12), Virginia Tech (12), Texas Tech (8), Cincinnati (6), Minnesota (6), Northwestern (5), Fresno State (4), Oregon State (4), Georgia Tech (2), Houston (2), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1), Northern Illinois (1).

A few takeaways:

- The SEC leads the way with seven teams, followed by the Pac-12 (six), Big Ten and Big 12 (four each), the ACC (three), and then independent Notre Dame.

- The team with the biggest gripe? How about Gary Pinkel's bunch.

- Not a single non-power team in this year's Top 25. The highest are Central Florida at 28th (this after the Knights finished 12th last season) and Marshall at No. 37. Predictably, UCF isn't happy about it.

- How about Arkansas! The Hogs received one 25th-place vote coming off a 3-9 season and facing one of the most difficult schedules in the country.

- Alabama's preseason Coaches' Poll rankings since 2010: first, second, second, first, second. It's been half a decade since the Tide wasn't penciled into the national title game in August (or very late July, in this case), and that was in 2009 when Alabama started all the way back in fifth.

- For that matter, here is where Oregon started its last four seasons: third, fifth, third, third.

- Baylor checks in at No. 10, its first preseason ranking since 1991.

- I think the top 10 played out just about as everyone expected. To me, the biggest surprise is USC at No. 15. 

- The most refreshing thing about the poll? None of this stuff matters, especially this year. Coaches no longer have a say in voting their own national champion, so unfair and misguided preseason expectations (thankfully) will not carry over into the season.

- If you'd like to know where to send your complaints, here are this year's voters: The Amway Board of Coaches is made up of 62 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2014 season: Blake Anderson, Arkansas State; Dino Babers, Bowling Green; David Bailiff, Rice; Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech; Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe; Bret Bielema, Arkansas; Larry Blakeney, Troy; Bill Blankenship, Tulsa; Craig Bohl, Wyoming; Terry Bowden, Akron; Art Briles, Baylor; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Matt Campbell, Toledo; Rod Carey, Northern Illinois; Norm Chow, Hawaii; Larry Coker, Texas-San Antonio; David Cutcliffe, Duke; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State; Bob Diaco, Connecticut; Larry Fedora, North Carolina; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; Dennis Franchione, Texas State; Justin Fuente, Memphis; Al Golden, Miami (Fla.); Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State; Bobby Hauck, UNLV; Brady Hoke, Michigan; Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Jerry Kill, Minnesota; Mike Leach, Washington State; Rocky Long, San Diego State; Mike MacIntyre, Colorado; Dan McCarney, North Texas; Bronco Mendenhall, Brigham Young; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Les Miles, LSU; Todd Monken, Southern Mississippi; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; George O'Leary, Central Florida; Gary Patterson, TCU; Bo Pelini, Nebraska; Chris Petersen, Washington; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Jeff Quinn, Buffalo; Matt Rhule, Temple; Mark Richt, Georgia; Mike Riley, Oregon State; Rich Rodriguez, Arizona; Nick Saban, Alabama; Steve Sarkisian, USC; Frank Solich, Ohio; Steve Spurrier, South Carolina; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Charlie Strong, Texas; Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati; Ron Turner, Florida International; Kevin Wilson, Indiana. AFCA policy bars schools under major NCAA or conference sanctions from receiving votes.