AP Top 25: FSU football No. 4, Florida Gators at 25
Florida State opens the season as the No. 4 team in the country, according to the AP's Top 25 preseason poll, which was released Sunday. The Florida Gators are No. 25.
Defending champion Alabama is No. 1, followed by Clemson and Oklahoma. LSU is fifth.
The Seminoles return 17 starters, including all 11 on offense, from last year's 10-3 team. FSU also boasts one of the country's most explosive players (running back Dalvin Cook), top defensive talents (safety Derwin James) and offensive linemen (tackle Roderick Johnson). FSU earned five first-place votes; only Bama and Clemson received more.
FSU is also No. 4 in the coaches' poll. The Noles open the season on Labor Day against No. 11 Ole Miss in Orlando's Camping World Stadium.
The Gators are also 25th in the coaches' poll. Florida is looking to build on last year's 10-win season that included the SEC East championship. UF's season opener is on Sept. 3 against UMass.
Please direct any and all criticism to my colleague, Joey Knight. He's an AP voter again; here's his preseason poll.
Miami received 159 votes and was the first team out of the preseason rankings. USF got two votes.
The full top 25:
4. Florida State
6. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
11. Ole Miss
12. Michigan State
21. Oklahoma State
22. North Carolina