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Seminoles ranked No. 8 in preseason coaches poll

Florida State to face pair of preseason top-10 teams in September
Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis congratulated by teammates after scoring TD vs. Florida Gators, Nov. 25, 2022
Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-07 19:03:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State is back in the top 10.

The Seminoles are ranked No. 8 in the preseason coaches poll released Monday.

They are the highest-ranked Atlantic Coast Conference team in the poll, one spot ahead of defending champion Clemson.

If the rankings hold, the Seminoles will face two top-10 teams in the month of September.

The No. 9 Tigers host Florida State on Sept. 23. Clemson defeated the Seminoles 34-28 last season.

LSU, who opens the season against Florida State on Sept. 3 in Orlando, is ranked No. 5. The Seminoles won last September's meeting in New Orleans 24-23 on a blocked PAT after the Tigers scored a touchdown as time expired.

Florida State Seminoles defensive back Shyheim Brown blocks PAT by LSU Tigers kicker Damian Ramos, Sept. 4, 2022
The extra point kick by LSU place kicker Damian Ramos (34) is blocked by Florida State defensive back Shyheim Brown (38) in the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, in New Orleans.

Led by quarterback Jordan Travis, the Seminoles return most of their playmakers from a team that finished on a six-game winning streak to end last season with 10 wins for the first time since 2016.

Travis, who hails from West Palm Beach and was a star player at the Benjamin School, enters the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate after throwing for 4,959 yards and 46 touchdowns and rushing for 1,784 yards and 24 scores in his college career.

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His top two targets – returning starter Johnny Wilson and Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman – enter the season on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

On the opposite side of the ball, defensive end Jared Verse is projected to be a first-round draft pick after recording 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks a season ago.

Two-time defending national champion Georgia was ranked No. 1, followed by No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Ohio State.

Southern California was ranked sixth and Penn State was ranked just ahead of the Seminoles at No. 7.

Tennessee, which beat Clemson in the Orange Bowl last season, rounds out the preseason top 10.

No. 20 North Carolina was the only other ranked ACC team.

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This is the 25th time since 1983 that the Seminoles have been ranked in the top 10 at the start of the season.

No other Florida team was ranked in the preseason top 25, although Florida and Miami were receiving votes.

The Associated Press poll will be released next week.