Florida football will open the 2017 season as the No. 17 team in the country in the Associated Press poll, which was released Monday.
The Gators are the fifth-highest ranked team in the SEC to open the season, behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 12 Auburn, No. 13 LSU and No. 16 Georgia.
It’s the Gators’ highest preseason ranking in the AP poll since beginning the 2013 season at No. 10 and the second time being ranked to open the season under coach Jim McElwain. The Gators opened the 2015 season at No. 25, the lowest ranking for a team that reached the SEC Championship Game in the previous year. Florida went on to defend its SEC East title and finished the 2015 season at No. 14.
The Gators, who are looking to win their third straight SEC East championship, open the season on Sept. 2 against No. 11 Michigan at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Florida will also faced four other teams in the top 25 during the regular season with three of those games in The Swamp. They are:
- No. 25 Tennessee (Sept. 16 in Gainesville)
- No. 13 LSU (Oct. 7 in Gainesville)
- No. 16 Georgia (Oct. 28 in Jacksonville)
- No. 3 Florida State (Nov. 25 in Gainesville)
Florida is also ranked No. 16 in the USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll, which was released on Aug. 3. Sports Illustrated pegged the Gators as the preseason No. 18 team, while CBS Sports has Florida at No. 16 in its preseason college football rankings. The Gators were also selected by the media to finish second in the East to Georgia.
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