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Surprise! Florida State tops preseason AP Top 25

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

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Hard as it may be to believe, college football really is right around the proverbial corner.

It became official Sunday when the Associated Press released its annual preseason Top 25, naming defending national champion Florida State No. 1 as expected. The Seminoles received 57 of a possible 60 first-place votes, easily outdistancing second-place Alabama.

Oregon, Oklahoma and Ohio State rounded out the top five, with the Crimson Tide, Ducks and Sooners each picking one of the remaining three first-place votes. Auburn placed sixth, with UCLA, Michigan State, South Carolina and Baylor making up the rest of the top 10.

With votes collected before the news that Notre Dame would play the 2014 season without four key players, including leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels and All-American candidate cornerback KeiVarae Russell, the Fighting Irish ranked 17th -- the same spot as in the preseason Coaches Poll, released earlier this month.

The full AP top 25:

1. Florida State (57) -- 1,496 points

2. Alabama (1) -- 1,361

3. Oregon (1) -- 1,334

4. Oklahoma (1) -- 1,324

5. Ohio State -- 1,207

6. Auburn -- 1,198

7. UCLA -- 1,106

8. Michigan State -- 1,080

9. South Carolina -- 1,015

10. Baylor -- 996

11. Stanford -- 885

12. Georgia -- 843

13. LSU -- 776

14. Wisconsin -- 637

15. USC -- 626

16. Clemson -- 536

17. Notre Dame -- 445

18. Ole Miss -- 424

19. Arizona State -- 357

20. Kansas State -- 242

21. Texas A&M -- 238

22. Nebraska -- 226

23. North Carolina -- 194

24. Missouri -- 134

25. Washington -- 130

Others receiving votes: UCF 94, Florida 87, Texas 86, Duke 71, Iowa 68, Louisville 48, Marshall 41, Oklahoma St. 37, Virginia Tech 26, TCU 23, Mississippi St. 22, Michigan 19, Texas Tech 19, Miami 16, Cincinnati 15, Boise St. 10, Oregon St. 10, BYU 8, Northwestern 8, Penn St. 5, Navy 2, Vanderbilt 2, Louisiana 1, Nevada 1, Utah St. 1.

AP voters stuck closely to the precedent set by the coaches' preseason poll, including only one team -- Missouri -- that failed to make the coaches' cut, at the expense of Texas (No. 24 Coaches). Between teams No. 1 and No. 17, the only changes from the Coaches Poll to the AP was the switching of Oregon and Oklahoma at Nos. 3 and 4, and Ohio State and Auburn at Nos. 5 and 6.

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