USA Today unveiled the first of the major pre-season college football polls and to the surprise of practically nobody, Alabama was at the top of the list. Last year’s BCS champions went 14-0 and are a popular pick to make a return trip to the BCS Championship game this season. The Crimson Tide received 55 of 59 first place votes in the initial coaches’ poll.
Ohio State picked up the remaining four available first place votes. The defending Big Ten champions will start the season with high expectations, which is nothing new to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes are second in the USA Today poll to start the 2010 season. They finished the 2009 season ranked fifth by the coaches.
Alabama’s biggest SEC challenger, Florida, is ranked third by the coaches. Despite losing Tim Tebow Urban Meyer’s squad should still figure to be in good shape for a run in the conference, but they may still be the most vulnerable they have been in recent years in 2010.
The Texas Longhorns, who lost to Alabama in last season’s BCS Championship game, are ranked fourth by the coaches. Boise State, who returns all but one starter from last season, will start the season in prime BCS-busting position. The Broncos are ranked fifth in the coaches poll.
Rounding out the top ten are Virginia Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa. Defending Pac-10 champion Oregon starts the season ranked 11th in the nation and will have to answer some questions at quarterback before being worthy of a top ten selection. The Ducks are followed by Wisconsin, Miami, Penn State and Pittsburgh.
Seven teams who finished out of the final 2009 season coaches poll will start the season ranked in 2010. Oklahoma will be the highest of the bunch, starting the season ranked eighth. Others who were not ranked in the final 2009 season poll are: North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon State and Auburn.