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Huskies debut in the top 10 of preseason Coaches Poll

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It’s better than a stick in the eye.

CFP National Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Amway Coaches Poll released its preseason top 25 yesterday. Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies entered the poll ranked #7 building on the strength of a 12-2 playoff season last year and the return of several key players on both sides of the ball this season.

As expected, Alabama paced the field at #1 with 49 first place votes. Other CFB powers, including Ohio State, Clemson and Florida State also found themselves ranked ahead of UW.

From what I can tell, the #7 ranking is the highest preseason ranking for UW since 1992 when Don James’s Huskies opened that season ranked #5 and 1997 when the Huskies opened #6. In fact, this is the the first time since that 1997 season in which UW even opened the season ranked in the top 10. They’ve been ranked as high as #12 on two different occasions since then.

UW is one of four PAC 12 teams appearing the top 25 of the Coaches Poll. USC, fresh off a Rose Bowl victory and riding a wave of love for sophomore QB Sam Darnold, is ranked #4 and would go into the College Football Playoffs if the selection committee picked teams today. Stanford is #14 and, in a bit of a surprise, Utah squeaks in ranked #25. Washington State, Colorado, Oregon and UCLA showed up in the “others receiving votes list”.

In yet another sign of east coast bias, none of the four ranked PAC 12 teams, including USC, received any first place votes while #5 Clemson received seven.

Preseason polls tend to not mean a lot to fans, but they do have the effect of biasing poll rankings early in the season. UW figures to be a moderate-to-heavy favorite in all of its first seven games leading up to the October 28th home game against UCLA. Starting out at #7 and running the table over those first seven contests would put UW in a strong position for a playoff selection run going into the back half of the season.

Amway Preseason Coaches Poll

RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE VOTES PREV
RANK TEAM POINTS 1ST PLACE VOTES PREV
1 Alabama 1603 49 2
2 Ohio State 1512 5 6
3 Florida State 1434 4 8
4 Southern California 1415 0 5
5 Clemson 1367 7 1
6 Penn State 1257 0 7
7 Washington 1245 0 4
8 Oklahoma 1237 0 3
9 Michigan 959 0 10
10 Wisconsin 936 0 9
11 Oklahoma State 912 0 11
12 Louisiana State 834 0 14
13 Auburn 819 0 22
14 Stanford 732 0 12
15 Georgia 701 0 36
16 Florida 681 0 13
17 Louisville 676 0 20
18 Miami 472 0 23
19 Kansas State 339 0 27
20 West Virginia 319 0 17
21 South Florida 247 0 19
22 Virginia Tech 235 0 16
23 Texas 193 0 NR
24 Tennessee 155 0 24
25 Utah 109 0 21

Others Receiving Votes

Washington State 99; Colorado 72; TCU 58; Boise State 49; Notre Dame 49; Texas A&M 46; Pittsburgh 45; North Carolina State 39; Oregon 37; Northwestern 25; Nebraska 23; Memphis 22; Arkansas 22; Mississippi State 19; San Diego State 18; Appalachian State 11; Brigham Young 10; Georgia Tech 10; Tulsa 10; Wyoming 9; Western Michigan 8; Temple 8; North Carolina 8; Houston 7; Troy 6; Minnesota 6; Iowa 5; Louisiana Tech 4; Syracuse 3; Arizona 2; Army 1; Colorado State 1; Michigan State 1; Maryland 1; Toledo 1; UCLA 1.