Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators are overwhelming choice for preseason No. 1 in AP football poll

GAINESVILLE — Two weeks after Florida was voted No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, the Gators find themselves atop another major poll.

Florida is No. 1 in the Associated Press poll released on Saturday morning, receiving 58 of 60 first place votes (96.7 percent) — the most overwhelming preseason No. 1 in the history of the AP poll, which dates to 1950.

The previous highest percentage of first-place votes in the AP preseason poll was 95.4 percent for Southern Cal in 2007. The Trojans failed to win the title that year.

It is the first preseason No. 1 ranking in the AP poll for Florida since 2001 — only the second (1994) in school history.

No. 2 Texas received two first place votes. The remainder of the Top 10 is rounded out by No. 3 Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Mississippi, Oklahoma State and Penn State (who are tied at No. 9).

The No. 1 ranking makes the Gators public enemy No. 1 for their opponents, but Florida coach Urban Meyer said it's not much different from other years. Handling the pressure that goes with being No. 1 is one of the major topics Meyer's multiple guest speakers have addressed with the team.

"Everybody has done it a little bit," Meyer said. "Lou Holtz hit it real hard. And with all due respect, since we've been here we're kind of hunted. I think (former coach Steve) Spurrier started that back in the '90s, the Gators are always the hunted. But this will be maybe a little different."

Florida knows the No. 1 ranking can be a heavy burden. The defending national champion Gators will try to become the first team since Southern Cal in 2004 to begin the season ranked No. 1 and end the season on top. Florida State is the only other team to go wire-to-wire in a season; the Seminoles did it in 1999.

Florida's players realize that now everyone will be out to get the Gators.

"Oh yeah, we know," junior offensive lineman Mike Pouncey said. "That makes us go out there and play harder and practice harder."

The only other state team to make it into the poll is No. 18 Florida State, which returned to the preseason poll after a one-year hiatus. The Seminoles were not in the AP preseason Top 25 last year for the first time since 1982.

Florida State finished 9-4 and ranked No. 21 in the final AP poll last season.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3389.

The Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll

1. Florida (58)

2. Texas (2)

3. Oklahoma

4. Southern Cal

5. Alabama

6. Ohio St.

7. Virginia Tech

8. Mississippi

9. Oklahoma St.

9. Penn St.

11. LSU

12. California

13. Georgia

14. Boise St.

15. Georgia Tech

16. Oregon

17. TCU

18. Florida St.

19. Utah

20. BYU

21. North Carolina

22. Iowa

23. Notre Dame

24. Nebraska

25. Kansas

Others receiving votes: Oregon St. 122, Illinois 105, Pittsburgh 103, Michigan St. 100, Rutgers 83, Texas Tech 76, West Virginia 57, Cincinnati 44, Clemson 42, Miami 40, East Carolina 30, Tennessee 15, Arizona 13, N.C. State 10, Boston College 9, Auburn 7, Cent. Michigan 7, UCLA 7, Northwestern 5, Missouri 3, South Florida 3, Southern Miss. 3, Vanderbilt 3, South Carolina 2, Arkansas 1, Houston 1, Nevada 1, Troy 1, Tulsa 1.

Florida Gators are overwhelming choice for preseason No. 1 in AP football poll 08/22/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 22, 2009 11:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)