UT ranked 25th in AP preseason poll


The first Associated Press Top-25 preseason football poll was released Monday, and IU is scheduled to face four teams this season that made the rankings.

No team has dominated the top five spots like the Crimson Tide the past nine years, having opened the season in the top five nine times and finishing there six times, including four national championships.

Ohio State is second with three first-place votes while Florida State is third and received four first-place votes.

The Tigers will face three of those teams this season - LSU on October 14, Georgia on November 11 and Alabama on November 25 - as well as defending national champion and No. 5-ranked Clemson at Memorial Stadium on November 9.

Defending national champion Clemson begins the post-Deshaun Watson era at No. 5.

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The Bedlam rivals also shared top 10 rankings in 2009 (OU No. 3, OSU No. 9) and 2011 (OU No. 1, OSU No. 9). Florida State, 4. Southern California, 5.

The only Group of Five team ranked is the Charlie Strong's USF Bulls at 19.

Last season, the Nittany Lions finished seventh in both polls after going 11-3 (10-2 in the regular season) and beating Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship before falling to USC, 52-49, in a memorable Rose Bowl game.

The Washington State Cougars finished 8-5 in the Pac-12 North a year ago and lost to an FCS team.

The No. 12 ranking revealed Monday is in line with preseason expectations: Auburn was ranked No. 13 in the preseason coaches poll released August 3 and picked to finish second in the West and overall in a poll conducted at July's SEC Media Days.

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USC finished the 2016 season ranked third behind Clemson and Alabama, who battled for the national title. No. 18 Miami and No. 19 South Florida join FSU and UF.

With a nation's-best 106 combined sacks over the last two seasons, a relentless pass rush has undoubtedly been one of the most prominent attributes of the Crimson Tide's top-rated defense in recent years. Plus, the post-season - Alabama's annual goal - would include, if all goes as UA hopes, three more ranked teams.

Running backs - Saquon Barkley, junior, Penn State; Derrius Guice, junior, LSU.

I've got Washington at No. 8, the lowest-ranked team among last year's playoff participants.

Alabama is a team that is under the constant pressure of high expectations.

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Auburn is No. 12, Louisiana State is No. 13, Stanford is No. 14, Georgia is No. 15 and Louisville is No. 16. No. 17 Florida in Dallas and No. 21 Virginia Tech squaring off with No. 22 West Virginia in Landover, Maryland.