NCAA Football Preseason Rankings 2014: Easy-to-View AP and Amway College Polls

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NCAA Football Preseason Rankings 2014: Easy-to-View AP and Amway College Polls
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Much to the surprise of no one, the Florida State Seminoles will open the season right where it finished in 2013—at the top.

Florida State received 57 of the 60 first-place votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released on Sunday, making them the team to beat during the upcoming 2014 season.

Take a look at the poll results:

2014 AP Coaches Poll
Ranking Team Points
1 Florida State 1496
2 Alabama 1361
3 Oregon 1334
4 Oklahoma 1324
5 Ohio State 1207
6 Auburn 1198
7 UCLA 1106
8 Michigan State 1080
9 South Carolina 1015
10 Baylor 966
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

collegefootball.ap.org

For comparison, also check out the Amway Coaches Poll, via USA Today:

2014 Amway Coaches Poll
Rank Team Points
1 Florida State 1543
2 Alabama 1455
3 Oklahoma 1382
4 Oregon 1314
5 Auburn 1271
6 Ohio State 1267
7 UCLA 1085
8 Michigan State 1050
9 South Carolina 1009
10 Baylor 965
11 Stanford 955
12 Georgia 905
13 LSU 833
14 Wisconsin 654
15 USC 627
16 Clemson 535
17 Notre Dame 509
18 Arizona State 358
19 Ole Miss 346
20 Texas A&M 266
21 Kansas State 257
22 Nebraska 228
23 North Carolina 175
24 Texas 143
25 Washington 142

USA Today

It makes a lot of sense to see Florida State atop both polls. Heisman winner Jameis Winston is returning after a stellar first season in college football. He tossed 40 touchdowns and racked up 4,057 yards through the air during his freshman campaign, and he'll be looking for even more as a sophomore.

Kelvin Benjamin, one of his favorite targets last season, is now in the NFL, but he still has more weapons to play with. The Seminoles are returning a majority of their players on both offense and defense, meaning we could see a strikingly similar team.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher has the same goals this year as he did last year—win the national championship. Fisher told Tess Quinlan of USA Today that he appreciates the No. 1 ranking in the Amway Coaches Poll, but his team still has to work:

We're very excited about being No. 1 and happy to be No. 1, but we understand that we have to play like No. 1 and play great football. That's going to be our objective. We're proud to start there and now we just have to go play great football.

There is no added pressure. Our goal every year is to win the national championship. That's why we're at Florida State.

Another notable team in the AP poll is Oregon. The Ducks were one of the top teams in the nation last year before a pair of disappointing losses in November derailed their hopes for the national title. Marcus Mariota is back this season hungry for more, however.

Figured to be one of the top picks in the 2015 NFL draft, Mariota needs to improve his completion percentage this year to open more eyes in the NFL. He went from 68.5 percent completions as a freshman to 63.5 percent as a sophomore. Now a junior, it's time for the quarterback to shine.

ESPN College Football likes Mariota as a Heisman favorite:

He's already one of the most talented players in the nation, and other head coaches have recognized that:

A Heisman trophy would be just what Mariota needs to cap his stellar career and move on to the NFL.

A final team to note is Texas A&M. In the post-Johnny Manziel era, the Aggies will turn to sophomore Kenny Hill to lead the charge, as the team announced on its official Twitter account on Saturday.

The decision took months to happen, as head coach Kevin Sumlin waited for both Hill and Kyle Allen to showcase their skills:

We'll learn a lot about the Aggies when they open their season on August 28, as they'll face the South Carolina Gamecocks, No. 9 in both the Amway and AP polls.

With a bevy of quality teams this season, college football is set to usher in its new playoff system in grand form. It will be interesting to see if Florida State can maintain the top spot or if another team will rise up and take down the defending champs.

 

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR

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