FSU No. 1; 8 SEC teams in first poll


Did you know

  • Ten of the 64 previous preseason No. 1 teams, have won the national championship, including Florida State twice in 1993 and 1999.
  • Florida State (1999) and Southern California (2004) are the only schools to hold the top spot for the entire season.
  • Six national champions were not ranked in the preseason poll. The last team was Brigham Young in 1984.
  • Twenty-two different teams have been ranked No. 1.
  • This is the sixth time Florida State has been the No. 1 team in the preseason poll (1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2014).
  • The Seminoles are the 23rd defending champion to open the next season as the top-ranked team.
  •   Notable Southern AP voters (out of 60): Charles Davis, Fox Sports; Tommy Deas, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News; Ross Dellenger, Baton Rouge Advocate; Doug Doughty, Roanoke Times; Seth Emerson, Macon Telegraph/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer; Harold Gutmann, Durham Herald-Sun; Donald Heath, Savannah Morning News; Mike Herndon, al.com; Josh Kendall, Columbia State; Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times; Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel; Gary Smits, Florida Times-Union.

Given that the SEC and ACC have dominated college football as national champions the past eight seasons and were champs in 12 of the 16 BCS title games, it’s no surprise that the two leagues again lead the way in the first Associated Press poll of the season.

Jameis Winston and defending national champion Florida State are No. 1 for the sixth time in school history and are one of three ACC teams in the top 25 as well as one of seven ACC schools who received votes. Georgia Tech was not among those seven. ACC teams were Clemson, 16th; and North Carolina, 23rd. Others ACC schools receiving votes were Duke, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Miami.

The last time the Seminoles started the season No. 1 was 1999 and they became the first team to hold the top spot for the entire season. This time around, FSU got 57 of 60 first-place votes.

“We’re the second-winningest team in the country the last four years, the winningest team the last two years and have had the most NFL players,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We’ve recruited well, too. Recruited a lot of great young players we’ve been able to mentor and develop as we go, so we’re very comfortable with the guys who are replacing the guys that left.”

And yet, the SEC continues its stranglehold as the top conference. Alabama is No. 2 and the Crimson Tide are one of eight SEC teams in the top 25 and one of 11 SEC schools who received votes. The SEC tied its own record for the most schools in the preseason poll.

Alabama has been ranked in the top five in six consecutive preseason polls, the nation’s longest current streak.

Georgia was voted 12th. Other SEC schools: Auburn, sixth; South Carolina, ninth; LSU, 13th; Ole Miss, 18th; Texas A&M, 21st; Missouri, 24th. The other SEC teams to receive votes were Florida, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Among other conferences, the Pac-12 had six teams in the top 25 and eight teams that received votes.

This season the Bowl Championship Series is being replaced by the College Football Playoff. A selection committee will pick the top four teams in the country for two national semifinals.