UF starts at No. 23

Coaches poll loaded with SEC teams

The Gators are ranked No. 23 in the coaches preseason college football poll.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 12:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:48 p.m.

Even though the Florida Gators have not received a whole lot of respect this summer, they will open the season ranked in the Top 25 nationally.

UF, coming off a 7-6 season, is No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday. The Gators finished last season unranked in the poll in Will Muschamp's first year.

“Like I told the team, we are not making predictions,” Muschamp said Thursday. “And neither am I.

“At the end of the day, we need to coach a lot better and we need to play better.”

Muschamp said it will be at the end of the bowl season when he will tell his players to care about the rankings.

The Gators have lots of SEC company in the coaches' poll. LSU will start the season at No. 1, just ahead of No. 2 Alabama. There are five SEC schools in the top 10 — LSU, Alabama, Georgia (6), South Carolina (9) and Arkansas (10).

The only other SEC school is Auburn, which holds the No. 25 spot.

LSU barely edged out Alabama for the top spot, accumulating just four more points. Southern Cal is No. 3, Oklahoma No. 4, Oregon No. 5, Florida State No. 7 and Michigan No. 8.

The Associated Press poll is due out Aug. 18.

For more on the coaches poll, click to www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/usatpoll.htm.

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