Coming off their first national tile in more than a decade, the Florida State Seminoles earned the No. 1 spot in the 2014 preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll released Thursday, while the Florida Gators will enter the season unranked after finishing 27th with 122 total votes in the first poll of the 2014 campaign.
Despite opening the 2013 season at No. 10 in the poll, Florida finished with a 4-8 record, the program’s worst since it went winless in 1979. It is the first time since USA Today took over the coaches poll in 1991 that UF has been unranked in its preseason edition.
Florida State received 56 of 62 possible first-place votes with Alabama, Oklahoma (3), Oregon (1) and Auburn rounding out the top five. Ohio State (No. 6) and South Carolina (No. 9) each received a first-place vote.
Seven Southeastern Conference teams were ranked by the coaches this preseason – five in the top 15 – including Alabama (No. 2), Auburn (No. 5), South Carolina (No. 9), Georgia (No. 12), LSU (No. 13), Ole Miss (No. 19) and Texas A&M (No. 20).
Others Receiving Votes
Missouri 126; Florida 122; Central Florida 102; Mississippi State 74; Oklahoma State 56; TCU 54; Michigan 53; Iowa 49; Miami (Fla.) 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; Georgia Tech 2; Houston 2; Arkansas 1; Arizona 1; Northern Illinois 1.
Seven SEC coaches will be voting in the poll this season: Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Les Miles (LSU), Gary Pinkel (Missouri), Mark Richt (Georgia), Nick Saban (Alabama), Steve Spurrier (South Carolina), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M). Bielema, Miles, Richt, Saban and Spurrier all voted in the poll in 2013, as well.
Coaches from six of UF’s 12 opponents will be voting: Miles, Pinkel, Richt, Saban, Spurrier, Jimbo Fisher (Florida State).
Familiar names also voting this year: Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Charlie Strong (Texas), Dan McCarney (North Texas).