A College Football season can’t begin with a preseason poll, that doesn’t surprise anyone by putting Florida State as the number one team heading into the 2014 season, although Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma have also been getting consideration as potential national champions when this is all over.
The SEC sends eight teams into the early and means-nothing Top 25, including the likes of Missouri and Ole Miss, but no Florida for the first time in a while. The Pac-12, with quite a few teams seeing themselves as potential conference champions, have six teams, including two in the top 10.
1. Florida State Seminoles (57 First place votes) – No doubt about this one. The national champions who went undefeated last season. They begin the season in the Cowboys Classic in Dallas, facing off against unranked Oklahoma State.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (1) – Alabama lost in the Iron Bowl, which took them out of the national championship game, leading to a loss against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. They begin this season against West Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game.
3. Oregon Ducks (1) – The Ducks finished at 11-2 last season, landing themselves in the Alamo Bowl where they beat Texas to earn themselves a #9 ranking. They’ll begin this season with an easy home game against South Dakota, an FCS team that was only 4-8 last season.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (1) – Riding high on their Sugar Bowl success, beating Alabama to finish the year with an 11-2 record and at #6 on the polls. They begin the season at home playing Louisiana Tech.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes – From undefeated to disappointment. They lost in the Big Ten Championship game to Michigan State, followed by a loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. They begin the season by playing Navy in Baltimore.
6. Auburn Tigers – The most surprising team of last season, making it all the way to the national championship game, losing to Florida State. They begin this season with a home game against Arkansas.
7. UCLA Bruins – A 10-3 season, including beating Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl, put the Bruins at #16 at the end. They begin this season with greater expectations and a road game at Virginia.
8. Michigan State Spartans – Lost just once last year, barely to Notre Dame. They won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl, beating Stanford. This season begins with a home game against FCS team Jacksonville State.
9. South Carolina Gamecocks – Finished ranked #4 by the AP & Coaches last year after an 11-2 season, including beating Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. This year they kickoff at home against ranked Texas A&M.
10. Baylor Bears – Finished the year at 11-2, winning the Big 12 for the first time. They lost in the Fiesta Bowl to UCF. This season begins at home against SMU.
11. Stanford Cardinal – Finished at 11-3 after winning the Pac-12 once against last year, losing in the Rose Bowl to Michigan State. This season begins with an easy home game against UC Davis, an FCS team.
12. George Bulldogs – It was an injury ravaged 2013 for the Bulldogs, finishing at 8-5, losing to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. They begin the season with a home game against Clemson.
13. LSU Tigers – Finished 10-3 last season, landing them in the Outback Bowl against Iowa, a game they won. They begin the season facing Wisconsin in Houston at the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff.
14. Wisconsin Badgers – Finished with a 9-4 record last season, losing their bowl game to South Carolina. They begin the season facing LSU in Houston at the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff.
15. USC Trojans – At 10-4, USC was more or less pleased with how things ended, beating Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl. They begin this season with a new head coach and once again playing Fresno State.
16. Clemson Tigers – No ACC title, but finally winning a BCS Bowl, beating Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. They begin this season on the road against Georgia.
17. Notre Dame Fighting Irish – A 9-4 season for the Irish, finishing with a Pinstripe Bowl win against Rutgers. They begin this season at home facing Rice.
18. Ole Miss Rebels – Ole Miss had an 8-5 season, which ended with a win over Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl. They begin this season in Atlanta (Chick-Fil-A game) against Boise State.
19. Arizona State Sun Devils – Finished the season at 10-4, losing in the Pac-12 championship game and to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. This season will begin with a home game against Weber State.
20. Kansas State Wildcats – It was rough in 2013 for the Wildcats, finishing at only 8-5, but beating Michigan 31-14 at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. They begin this season at home against Stephen F. Austin.
21. Texas A&M Aggies – The Aggies enter a season without Manziel at quarterback. They finished at #18, beating Duke in the Chick-Fil-A bowl game. This season begins with a road game at South Carolina.
22. Nebraska Cornhuskers – Another 9-4 season for Nebraska that ended with a win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl, which might have saved Pellini’s job. They start off this season against Florida Atlantic at home.
23. North Carolina Tar Heels – A 7-6 season in 2013, beating Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. This season begins at home facing Liberty.
24. Missouri Tigers – The 2013 Tigers reached the SEC championship game and lost to Auburn, but went on to beat Oklahoma State in a big Cotton Bowl game. They begin this season against South Dakota State, one of the best teams in the FCS.
25. Washington Huskies – Finished last year ranked #25 after a 9-4 season, winning the Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU. They kick off this season with a new head coach (Chris Petersen), and a road game against Hawai’i.