Just like in the Coaches Poll unveiled a few weeks ago, Florida State finds itself at No. 4 in the preseason AP Poll behind Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma.
Other FSU opponents in the preliminary poll include Ole Miss at No. 11, Louisville at No. 19, North Carolina at No. 22, and Florida at No. 25.
On Sunday morning at 10 AM EST, the first Associated Press collegiate football rankings will be released. The ‘Noles finished the 2015 season ranked No. 14, after beginning the campaign ranked No. 10, following a Peach Bowl loss that dropped the team to a 10-3 final record.
Although the official compilation of 61 voters will not come out until 10 AM, some voters have prematurely released their ballots that they have submitted to the AP. The ‘Noles will have at least one first place vote thanks to The Advocate, a newspaper out of Louisiana. The paper also lists six of the ‘Noles 2016 opponents inside the top 25 with both Clemson (No. 5) and Louisville (No. 10) inside the top ten .
Brett McMurphy of ESPN also revealed his list, penciling in the Seminoles at No. 2 behind Alabama. McMurphy only has five of Florida State’s opponents this upcoming season ranked inside the top 25, with the Florida Gators not making the cut. However, the ESPN College Football Insider has four of FSU’s opponents inside the top 15 with Clemson at No. 4, Ole Miss at No. 11, UNC at No. 13 and Louisville at No. 14. The ‘Noles should have either five or six of its opponents ranked inside the top 25, which will lead to a strong strength of schedule on its resume come College Football Playoff and bowl selection time.
With discussions and debates around Florida State’s national championship probabilities, FSU should begin the season ranked inside the top five, and possibly top three, for the first time since 2014 when it received 57 of the 60 first place votes. Of the teams that began 2015 inside the top five, Alabama (No. 3) and Michigan State (No. 5) would play in the College Football Playoffs, Ohio State (No. 1) wound up in a New Years Six bow and TCU (No. 2) and Baylor (No. 4) would both finish strong seasons ranked inside the top-13. There has been a recent trend of AP top five preseason teams being successful, which is where the ‘Noles will more than likely end up at to begin 2016.