UA football: My AP Top 25 preseason poll

2014-08-06T12:00:00Z 2014-08-06T16:51:44Z UA football: My AP Top 25 preseason pollDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Last month, I was asked by the Associated Press to be a voter in the AP Top 25 this season. I gladly accepted and look forward to voting every week. 

Today was the deadline for the preseason ballot, and I submitted it last night. 

The preseason poll has to be the most difficult of all of them. I did my preseason poll based on my projections for the upcoming season. So my top four are the teams I believe will be in the College Football Playoff. 

I'm always up for discussion. This poll will likely generate the most disagreements because no one has a body of work yet. 

Here we go (with comments on some teams):

1. Florida State: I think the Seminoles win back-to-back titles as long as Jameis Winston stays healthy. It also helps that FSU gets Clemson and Florida at home. 

2. Oklahoma: This will seem a little high, but have you seen OU's schedule? The Sooners have a very real chance at running the table, and have lots back on defense. 

3. Oregon: There's a lot to love with the Ducks this year. I think they will win the Pac-12 and be in the playoff. The schedule is a challenging one though. 

4. Alabama: Hard to question a Nick Saban team, but the quarterback situation worries me. 

5. Ohio State

6. UCLA: The Bruins schedule is crazy difficult, but I think they have the horses to get through it. 

7. Michigan State: The Spartans will benefit from their September trip to Oregon, and be a top-ten team this season. 

8. Georgia

9. Baylor: Baylor has Bryce Petty back and, like Oklahoma, has the benefit of playing in the down Big 12. 

10. Southern Cal: I'm higher on the Trojans than most. Cody Kessler should have a big year, and there's still so much athleticism and talent on that defense. 

11. South Carolina

12. Auburn: Can Nick Marshall really lead this team to another great season? I don't think great, but the Tigers should have a pretty good season. 

13. Wisconsin: Running back Melvin Gordon is a stud and the Badgers miss Michigan State and Ohio State during the regular season. 

14. LSU

15. Stanford

16. Mississippi: It's never easy in the SEC, but quarterback Bo Wallace should have this team in fine shape.

17. Clemson

18. Notre Dame

19. Duke: Another team I'm higher on than most. David Cutcliffe is a heck of a coach and quarterback Anthony Boone should be improved in his final season.

20. Kansas State

21. Iowa: Could the Hawkeyes start 10-0? Look at that schedule and tell me they couldn't. 

22. Arizona State: Lots of questions on defense, sure, but the Sun Devils might not need it with the firepower they have on offense. 

23. Texas A&M

24. Florida

25. Marshall: Big-time quarterback back, plus an easy schedule. 

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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