MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – College football season is less than a month away from kicking off and Thursday, the first pre-season USA Today Coaches poll was released and Florida State looks to be a national championship contender.
At the top of the poll was the Oklahoma Sooners who return almost all of a team that lost just two games last season. Sooners head coach Bob Stoops has his team poised to dominate the Big XII(-2) and his team is led by quarterback Landry Jones who will chase the Heisman Trophy in 2011.
Just behind the Sooners was the Alabama Crimson Tide. Bama coach Nick Saban returns just about his entire defense and his secondary will be the best in the nation. Alabama could have problems as they break in a new starting quarterback, but the team has a stout running game to help take the pressure off the new QB.
Oregon and LSU were numbers three and four in the poll, and at number five in the nation are the Florida State Seminoles. FSU returns almost all of their offense, returns key starters on the defensive line and in the secondary and looks poised to make a run through the ACC.
FSU was chosen to win the ACC by ACC media members at the conference’s media days at the end of July. FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel could be poised for a breakthrough season as he takes full control of the Seminoles offense.
By the way, the number one ranked Oklahoma Sooners will battle the Seminoles in Tallahassee on September 17, 2011.
After FSU, Stanford checked in at number six followed by: the Boise State Broncos, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Texas A&M Aggies, and the Wisconsin Badgers at number ten.
Elsewhere in the poll, last year’s national champion were picked at number 19 in the country, despite the media that covers the SEC predicting the Tigers to finish next to last in the SEC Western division.
The Florida Gators, under first year coach Will Muschamp, were ranked 23rd by the coaches and the University of Miami received votes and would have been ranked 29th if the rankings were extended.
Here’s the full poll:
- Oklahoma (42)
- Alabama (13)
- Oregon (2)
- LSU (2)
- Florida State
- Boise State
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- South Carolina
- Virginia Tech
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Mississippi State
- Penn State