College football season is upon us.
USA Today released its first coaches’ poll yesterday, with Florida State University leading the field.
The Seminoles brought back seven starters on offense, headlined by Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston, who will be flanked by four of the same offensive lineman. On defense, there are six returning starters.
As you’d probably expect, Nick Saban’s Alabama team isn’t far behind, coming in second, although South Carolina was the only team from the South Eastern Conference to garner a first place vote. Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, is Auburn coming in fifth after losing in the National Championship last season. The coaches appear to be skeptical that Auburn will be able to replicate a season that featured several last-second wins.
Outside of the top two, Bob Stoops has to be thrilled with the rankings, as his Sooners rank third, on the heels of last year’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama.
Oregon is the Pacific 12 favorite, while Stanford Coach David Shaw might be a bit miffed, given Stanford’s two consecutive victories over the Ducks.
The three teams that fell just outside of the top 25 were Missouri (126), Florida (122) and Central Florida (102).
The full top 25 can be found below. What do you think is the biggest surprise?
USA Today’s Top 25
1 Florida State
6 Ohio State
8 Michigan State
9 South Carolina
15 Southern California
17 Notre Dame
18 Arizona State
19 Ole Miss
20 Texas A&M
21 Kansas State
23 North Carolina