Nearly a month before the 2017 season kicks off in earnest, the first noteworthy of the meaningless preseason polls has been released.
With USA Today as its delivery vehicle, the Amway Coaches’ Poll released its initial ranking of the Top 25 teams in the country. Not surprisingly, to some, 2016 national runner-up Alabama is ranked as the top team in the country.
Of the 65 “coaches” (winkwinknudgenudge) who participated in the voting, 49 of them cast their first-place votes for ‘Bama. The Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the country, Ohio State and Florida State, respectively, received five and four first-place votes, respectively. The only other team that received No. 1 nods was fifth-ranked and defending national champion Clemson with seven.
The remainder of the Top 10 is rounded out by No. 4 USC, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Washington, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Wisconsin.
While there were four Big Ten teams in the Top 10, just one team from the SEC can make the same claim. Overall, though, the latter conference lead all leagues with six teams in the Top 25, followed by the ACC and Big 12 with five each and the Big Ten and Pac-12 with four apiece. The Group of Five program to crack the initial ranking was South Florida, with the AAC school coming in at No. 21.
For those who are curious, and before we get to the complete Top 25 rankings, below are the “coaches” (winkwinknudgenudge) who will vote in this particular poll throughout the 2017 season:
Major Applewhite, Houston; David Bailiff, Rice; David Beaty, Kansas; Bret Bielema, Arkansas; Craig Bohl, Wyoming; John Bonamego, Central Michigan; Terry Bowden, Akron; Jeff Brohm, Purdue; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; Rod Carey, Northern Illinois; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Butch Davis, Florida International; Dave Doeren, North Carolina State; DJ Durkin, Maryland; Shawn Elliott, Georgia State; Larry Fedora, North Carolina; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; P.J. Fleck, Minnesota; James Franklin, Penn State; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Clay Helton, Southern California; Tom Herman, Texas; Doc Holliday, Marshall; Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette; Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech; Joey Jones, South Alabama; Mike Leach, Washington State; Lance Leipold, Buffalo; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Seth Littrell, North Texas; Rocky Long, San Diego State; Mike MacIntyre, Colorado; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Derek Mason, Vanderbilt; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Jeff Monken, Army; Philip Montgomery, Tulsa; Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina; Jim Mora, UCLA; Dan Mullen, Mississippi State; Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Barry Odom, Missouri; Gary Patterson, TCU; Mike Riley, Nebraska; Rich Rodriguez, Arizona; Nick Rolovich, Hawaii; Nick Saban, Alabama; Tony Sanchez, UNLV; Mike Sanford Jr., Western Kentucky; Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State; Bill Snyder, Kansas State; Frank Solich, Ohio; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Mark Stoops, Kentucky; Tyson Summers, Georgia Southern; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Matt Wells, Utah State; Mark Whipple, Massachusetts; Kyle Whittingham, Utah; Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion; Everett Withers, Texas State.