Florida Gators open 2017 season ranked No. 16 in Coaches Poll top 25

By Adam Silverstein
August 3, 2017
Florida Gators open 2017 season ranked No. 16 in Coaches Poll top 25
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Image Credit: ESPNI

Coming off a loss in the national championship, Alabama earned the No. 1 spot in the 2017 preseason Coaches’ Poll released Thursday, while the Florida Gators enter the season ranked No. 16. It is the second straight season that Florida will begin as a ranked team.

The Gators opened the 2017 poll with 681 total votes, the fifth of of six Southeastern Conference teams in the top 25.

This comes after the Gators were unranked in back-to-back preseason Coaches Polls in 2014-15, the only two times they held that designation since USA Today took over the poll in 1991.

Alabama received 49 of 65 possible first-place votes with Ohio State (5), Florida Staet (4), USC and Clemson (7) rounding out the top five.

The six Southeastern Conference teams ranked by the coaches this preseason — one in the top 10 — include: No. 1 Alabama, No. 12 LSU, No. 13 Auburn, No. 15 Georgia, No. 16 Florida and No. 24 Tennessee.

The Gators will face five teams ranked in the preseason top 25 and open the season against preseason No. 9 Michigan.

1. Alabama (49)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Florida State (4)
4. USC
5. Clemson (7)
6. Penn State
7. Washington
8. Oklahoma
9. Michigan
10. Wisconsin
11. Oklahoma State
12. LSU
13. Auburn
14. Stanford
15. Georgia
16. Florida
17. Louisville
18. Miami
19. Kansas State
20. West Virginia
21. South Florida
22. Virginia Tech
23. Texas
24. Tennessee
25. Utah

Six SEC coaches will be voting in the poll this season: Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Nick Saban (Alabama) and Mark Stoops (Kentucky). Bielema, Malzahn, Mason, Mullen and Saban all voted in 2016. Saban has been a voter since 2013.

UF will see coaches from three of its 12 opponents voting in the poll: Mason, Stoops and Jimbo Fisher (Florida State). Urban Meyer (Ohio State) is also a voter, as are former Florida assistants in DJ Durkin (Maryland) and Doc Holliday (Marshall).

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