Another offseason checkpoint as been reached, with the release of the preseason Coaches Poll. Defending national champion Florida State takes top billing as the No. 1 team, with the USC Trojans sitting at No. 15 to start the Steve Sarkisian era.
A year ago, the Trojans were ranked at No. 24 in the preseason, before ultimately going 10-4 and finishing ranked 19th following a big win over Fresno State in the LasVegas Bowl.It’s not a bad starting point for Sarkisian, considering that the team has an overhauled coaching staff and have lost leaders on defense like Dion Bailey, Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin.
In 2010, the Trojans were unranked to start the Lane Kiffin era, as they were ineligible due to a two-year bowl ban imposed prior to that season. However, Kiffin’s Trojans started at No. 14 in the AP poll.
Five of the Trojans’ 12 opponents in 2014 are ranked to start, highlighted by UCLA at No. 7.
Stanford, the two-time defending Pac-12 champ, is ranked just ahead of the Trojans at No. 11, with Notre Dame and ASU behind at No. 17 and No. 18, respectively. Sarkisian’s old roost, Washington, rounds out the poll at No. 25.
Other USC opponents Fresno State, Oregon State and Arizona all received at least one vote, while the Oregon Ducks top all Pac-12 teams with a No. 4 ranking for what will presumably be Marcus Mariota’s collegiate swan song in Eugene.
Here’s full Coaches Poll, via USA Today:
|1||Florida State Seminoles (46)||14-0||1543|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||11-2||1455|
|3||Oklahoma Sooners (3)||11-2||1382|
|4||Oregon Ducks (1)||11-2||1314|
|6||Ohio State (1)||12-2||1267|
|8||Michigan State Spartans||13-1||1050|
|9||South Carolina Gamecocks (1)||11-2||1009|
|17||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||9-4||509|
|18||Arizona State Sun Devils||10-4||358|
|19||Ole Miss Rebels||8-5||346|
|20||Texas A&M Aggies||9-4||266|
|21||Kansas State Wildcats||8-5||257|
|23||North Carolina Tar Heels||7-6||175|
Also receiving votes: Missouri 126, Florida 122, UCF 102, Mississippi State 74, Oklahoma State 56, TCU 54; Michigan 53, Iowa 49, Miami (Fl.) 45, Duke 41, Louisville 32, Marshall 27, Brigham Young 18, Boise State 13, Louisiana-Lafayette 12, Virginia Tech 12, Texas Tech 8, Minnesota 6, Cincinnati 6, Northwestern 5, Oregon State 4, Fresno State 4, GeorgiaTech 2, Houston 2, Arkansas 1, Arizona 1, Northern Illinois 1.