Preseason College Football Rankings 2014: Full List of NCAA Top 25 Standings

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 12:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Garnet team reacts to a pass against the Gold team during Florida State's Garnet and Gold spring game at Doak Campbell Stadium on April 12, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 2014 NCAA college football season is approaching fast, but many fans have already turned their attention to the preseason Top 25 rankings and where their respective favorite teams sit in the standings.

The frenzy around the sport was already amped up with the release of the preseason Amway coaches poll, but Sunday’s release of the Associated Press Top 25 has further fueled the anticipation for Week 1 of the college football regular season.  

Here are the full AP and Amway Top 25 polls and a breakdown of what to expect this season.

 

Preseason Amway and AP Top 25 Rankings
Rank Associated Press Top 25Amway Top 25
1 Florida State SeminolesFlorida State Seminoles
2 Alabama Crimson TideAlabama Crimson Tide
3 Oregon DucksOklahoma Sooners
4 Oklahoma SoonersOregon Ducks
5 Ohio State BuckeyesAuburn Tigers
6 Auburn TigersOhio State Buckeyes
7 UCLA BruinsUCLA Bruins
8 Michigan State SpartansMichigan State Spartans
9 South Carolina GamecocksSouth Carolina Gamecocks
10 Baylor BearsBaylor Bears
11 Stanford CardinalStanford Cardinal
12 Georgia BulldogsGeorgia Bulldogs
13 LSU TigersLSU Tigers
14 Wisconsin BadgersWisconsin Badgers
15 USC TrojansUSC Trojans
16 Clemson TigersClemson Tigers
17 Notre Dame Fighting IrishNotre Dame Fighting Irish
18 Mississippi RebelsArizona State Sun Devils
19 Arizona State Sun DevilsMississippi Rebels
20 Kansas State WildcatsTexas A&M Aggies
21 Texas A&M AggiesKansas State Wildcats
22 Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers
23 North Carolina Tar HeelsNorth Carolina Tar Heels
24 Missouri TigersTexas Longhorns
25 Washington HuskiesWashington Huskies
Source: USAToday.com and Associated Press.

 

Breaking Down the Top Championship Contenders

The addition of a new playoff system has many college football fans relieved to see the outdated BCS Championship eliminated. Now the best teams in the country will have to prove their worth in a more traditional single-elimination postseason format.

Before we get to the new playoffs, there is a full regular season that must take place. College football fans love Saturdays due to the vast number of games that take place, and the long-term goal of making the postseason adds a new wrinkle to the sport.

Florida State was lucky enough to earn the No. 1 overall spot in both the Amway poll and the AP poll. Led by Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, the Seminoles have every intention of repeating as national champions with or without a playoff system.

Back-to-back championships may be the goal for Florida State, but there are several legitimate contenders who firmly believe they will finish the season in the No. 1 overall spot. With the Alabama Crimson Tide (second in both the Amway and AP polls) returning many of the program’s top players, the Seminoles' run to another title won’t be easy.

Alabama may be the program many fans consider the most likely to unseat the Seminoles, but losses to the Oklahoma Sooners (third in the Amway poll and fourth in the AP poll) and Auburn Tigers (fifth in the Amway poll and sixth in the AP poll) make the Crimson Tide look more vulnerable than at any other time over the last five years.

Another program that is always in contention is the Oregon Ducks (fourth in the Amway poll and third in the AP poll). Despite losing offensive genius Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2012 season, Oregon still possesses the same high-powered offense and unique game plan.

The strongest conference in college football has been the Southeastern Conference, but there are many SEC teams rated lower than expected. The South Carolina Gamecocks are ranked No. 9 overall in both the Amway and AP polls, the Georgia Bulldogs are 12th and the LSU Tigers are 13th.

The conference also has the Mississippi Rebels and the Texas A&M Aggies ranked in the Top 25.

While the perennial contenders will be fighting for top spots once again this season, there are also unheralded teams with deep rosters that could make a serious splash in the new College Football Playoff system.

Whether it’s the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans, the No. 16 Clemson Tigers or the No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers (all rankings via both Amway and AP polls), fans of the sport will be focused on the potential upsets and Cinderella teams looking to make a splash this season.

 

*Stats via CFBStats.com.