The first coaches poll of the season, the preseason one, means that the 2015 College Football season is just around the corner, with national champions Ohio State looking like the on-paper favorites at the moment, although TCU & Alabama also get mentioned.
How does the poll work: The Amway Coaches Poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (62 First place votes) – The national champions, Big Ten champions and first winners of the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes are hoping to carry that momentum into 2015 which begins at Virginia Tech, the only team to beat them last season.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (1) – The season begins at Minnesota for Gary Patterson and his players, who didn’t make it into the CFP but were ranked #3 on the coaches poll to finish the season following their big win over Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and sharing the Big 12 title.
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (1) – Alabama were stunned by Ohio State in the playoff last season, not making it to the final game. They won the SEC and finished 12-1, #4 on the coaches poll. They open the season against Wisconsin in Dallas.
4. Baylor Bears – Won a piece of the Big 12 title but didn’t go to the playoff, ending up losing to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl Classic, which was indeed one incredible game. They open 2015 at SMU.
5. Oregon Ducks – Were 13-2 last season, finally winning the Pac-12 and making it to the college football playoff championship game, losing to Ohio State. They begin their Marcus Mariota-less season with a home game against Eastern Washington.
6. Michigan State Spartans – Finished last season with an 11-2 record and #5 on the coaches poll after beating Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. They kick off this season with a game at Western Michigan.
7. Auburn Tigers – Had a disappointing 8-5 season in 2014, ending with a loss to Wisconsin in the Outback bowl. They start the season in Atlanta against Louisville, playing the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
8. Florida State Seminoles – Finished the season as ACC champions but had a rough loss against Oregon in the college football playoff semifinal, making it a 13-1 year. Jameis Winston is gone, and the season starts at home against Texas State.
9. Georgia Bulldogs – Were 10-3 last season, which ended with a win against Louisville in the Belk Bowl. They start this season at home against Louisiana-Monroe.
10. USC Trojans – After a 9-4 season and beating Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, the Trojans hope they’re finally going to bounce back to national prominence. They start the season against Arkansas State.
11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Were just 8-5 last season but did beat LSU in the Music City Bowl. In 2015 they start off against Texas.
12. Clemson Tigers – Start the season playing Wofford, finishing last season on a high after crushing Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
13. LSU Tigers – Had a disappointing 8-5 season, including loosing their bowl game to Notre Dame. Start off 2015 against McNeese State.
14. UCLA Bruins – Were 10-3 last season, beating Kansas State 40-35 in the Alamo Bowl. Start the season in the Rose Bowl against Virginia.
15. Ole Miss Rebels – Fizzled near the end to a 9-4 season and getting crushed by TCU in the bowl game. Start 2015 against Tennessee Martin.
16. Arizona State Sun Devils – Didn’t win the Pac-12 and finished 10-3, but did beat Duke in the Sun Bowl. Will play Texas A&M in Houston to kick off the season.
17. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Had an 11-3 season, missing out on the ACC title once more. Impressed against Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl with a 15-point win. Start this season against Alcorn State.
18. Wisconsin Badgers – Play Alabama in the Cowboys Classic to start 2015. Did beat Auburn in their bowl game, but that didn’t help erase the shame of the 59-0 loss against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.
19. Oklahoma Sooners – An 8-5 season in Norman is close to disaster, not to mention blown to bits by Clemson in the bowl game. Will start the 2015 season against Akron.
20. Arkansas Razorbacks – Only 7-6 last season but it did end on a positive note that included beating Texas in the Texas Bowl. They’ll start 2015 against UTEP.
21. Stanford Cardinal – A disappointing season that ended with a win over Maryland in a meaningless bowl game. Will start the season at Northwestern.
22. Arizona Wildcats – Lost to Oregon in the conference championship game, and lost to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Will begin the season against UTSA.
23. Missouri Tigers – Did lose to Alabama in the SEC championship game but beat Minnesota in the bowl game. Will kick off 2015 against Southeast Missouri.
24. Boise State Broncos – The regular non-P5 team in the top 25, the Broncos finished last season with a big win in the Fiesta Bowl against Arizona. Start the season with a game against former head coach Gary Andersen, playing Washington.
25. Tennessee Volunteers – Finally the year for the Vols? Were 7-6 last season, beating Iowa in the bowl game. Will begin next season against Bowling Green.