The defending national champion Florida State Seminoles will open the season at No. 1 in the Amway Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday afternoon.
The Seminoles received 56 of 62 first place votes, according to USA Today. Alabama came in at No. 2, but did not receive any first place votes. Oklahoma received 3 first place votes and came in at No. 3, Oregon entered at No. 4 with 1 first place votes, and Auburn entered at No. 5 with no first place votes.
No. 6 ranked Ohio State and No. 9 ranked South Carolina each received a first place vote.
Putting FSU and Alabama as the top two teams is fair, and after last year’s success, the offseason recruiting, the return of Jameis Winston, and other returning talent, the Seminoles earned the right to be the heavy favorites going into the year. It was surprising, though, that Oklahoma, Oregon, Ohio State, and South Carolina all received first place votes over Alabama and Auburn. Nobody reloads like the Tide, and the Tigers were one play away from winning the national championship last year and return a lot of talent.
The biggest takeaway for me is that Michigan State and Stanford once again are receiving no respect. In another story I wrote that you can see here, I made the case that Ohio State had no business being the Big Ten favorite over the Spartans.
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 6 while the Spartans are ranked No. 8.
MSU was a game away from the national title last year, beat Ohio State pretty convincingly, won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl, returns just as much talent as Ohio State, and somehow has to play underdog to Ohio State.
The same holds true for Stanford, who is No. 11, behind Oregon and UCLA, who is No. 7, in the Pac 12. The Pac 12 champion who also returns a good bit of talent is an underdog to two teams it beat last year? I’ve said for years that there is no respect for David Shaw. It’s holding true again.
Another point of interest is that every Top 25 member is part of a Power Five Conference or Notre Dame. The SEC and Pac 12 dominated the rankings, with seven and six teams respectively, half of each conference, in the Top 25. They also make up more than half of the Top 25 with 13 teams total. The Big 12 had four teams, the Big Ten had four teams, and the ACC had three teams.
Missouri was left out and should probably be in over Ole Miss. At first glance, that’s one major problem with this list.