Defending national champion Florida tops the USA Today preseason football coaches' poll, receiving 53 of 59 first-place votes. Texas was second in the poll released Friday, followed by Oklahoma, USC, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, LSU and Mississippi.That seems about on par with most of the preseason publications and prognostications, although Oklahoma State didn't make it into the top 10 and Alabama might be a little higher than anticipated at No. 5. The only big surprise, in my opinion, is Florida's near-unanimous support at No. 1, but given their lack of personnel losses, it's hard to make a case for NOT voting them at the top.
The weird stuff is typically toward the bottom of the poll (no Duke?), and this year is no different:
* No Big East team is in the initial top 25. Cincinnati leads the way at No. 29, comfortably ahead of Pitt, West Virginia and Rutgers in terms of points received.
* UCLA got 14 points? Auburn got 12? Their overall placements (38th and 39th) don't seem out of whack, but the fact that enough people put UCLA and Auburn in the top 25 for them to rack up that many points is a little puzzling.
* Even further down, Arizona somehow compiled three points, Tennessee got two and Michigan and Troy (?) got one each.
Oh, and for those interested in unbiased voting, the real poll will be released on Aug. 22.