Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Defending national champion Florida State topped the Amway/USA Today preseason coaches poll released Thursday. Florida State ended the Southeastern Conference's seven-year stranglehold on the title with a 34-31 victory over Auburn in the BCS Championship in January.

By SI Wire
July 31, 2014

The first season of the College Football Playoff will serve to end the debate about who the best team in the nation is on the field. Until the playoff starts, the polls will have to do.

Defending national champion Florida State topped the preseason Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday.

Florida State ended the Southeastern Conference's seven-year stranglehold on the title with a 34-31 victory over Auburn in the BCS Championship in January.

College Football
Snap judgments on preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

The Seminoles received 56 of 62 first-place votes.

The Seminoles return seven defensive starters and eight starters on offense, including Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston. They begin their championship defense Aug. 30 against Oklahoma State.

Coming in at No. 2 is perennial power Alabama.

Oklahoma, which routed the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, is third, followed by Oregon and Auburn.

Ohio State is sixth, followed by UCLA, Big Ten and Rose Bowl champ Michigan State, South Carolina and Big 12 champ Baylor​.

The second ten is led by Stanford, Georgia, LSU, Wisconsin and USC

Clemson is 16th, followed by Notre Dame, Arizona State and Mississippi. Texas A&M, who will be replacing quarterback Johnny Manziel, is 20th.

More: The end of Cinderella: Where do Group of Five teams sit in playoff system? 

Kansas State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas and Washington round out the poll.

The SEC has seven teams in the poll. The Pac-12 is second with six teams.

The Big 12 and Big Ten each have four teams in the poll, and the ACC has three. There are no teams from the American Athletic Conference.

The first regular season poll will be released Sept. 2.

The College Football semifinals will take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1. The national title game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12.

Rank team Points First Place Votes
1 Florida State Seminoles 1543 56
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 1455 0
3 Oklahoma Sooners 1382 3
4 Oregon Ducks 1314 1
5 Auburn Tigers 1271 0
6 Ohio State Buckeyes 1267 1
7 UCLA Bruins 1085 0
8 Michigan State Spartans 1050 0
9 South Carolina Gamecocks 1009 1
10 Baylor Bears 965 0
11 Stanford Cardinal 955 0
12 Georgia Bulldogs 905 0
13 LSU Tigers 833 0
14 Wisconsin Badgers 654 0
15 USC Trojans 627 0
16 Clemson Tigers 535 0
17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 509 0
18 Arizona State Sun Devils 358 0
19 Ole Miss Rebels 346 0
20 Texas A&M Aggies 266 0
21 Kansas State Wildcats 257 0
22 Nebraska Cornhuskers 228 0
23 North Carolina Tar Heels 175 0
24 Texas Longhorns 143 0
25 Washington Huskies 142 0

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