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

- Scooby Axson