The Seminoles will open their season September 2 against No. 1 Alabama in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, site of the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Florida State is ranked third, Miami 18th and South Florida 19.
This is the ninth consecutive season the Tide has been ranked in the preseason top five, the second-longest streak since the preseason poll started in 1950. The Crimson Tide was also named the nation's No. 1 team in the USA Today's Amway Coaches Poll released August 3. Not since Southern California in 2004 has the top team in the AP's initial preseason poll finished the season in the same spot.
It is also OU's highest preseason ranking under a first-year coach since beginning at No. 2 under Gomer Jones in the 1964 season. The sixth-ranked Nittany Lions beat Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Conference last season, and the seventh-ranked Huskies represented the Pacific 12 Conference in last season's playoff. Penn State has the record at 34 from 1968-2002.
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Oklahoma State drew a preseason ranking for the fifth time in the past seven seasons, which is the best stretch in program history. Auburn was 12th, LSU 13th, Georgia 15th, Florida 17th and Tennessee 25th.
The last time an SEC team other than the Tide was preseason No. 1 was Florida in 2009; the Gators went 13-1 and finished third.
Auburn was ranked No. 12. Those teams finished an average of 6.34 places (higher or lower) from where they were ranked in the preseason.
- 1.9 teams that started the season unranked finished ranked in the top 10.