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Gators, Hurricanes among top 25 in preseason coaches poll

Florida, Miami only state teams represented in rankings
Miami Hurricanes offense lines up against Florida Gators defense in 2019
Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 16:13:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two Florida schools are ranked among the top 25 headed into the 2021 season.

The Florida Gators are No. 11 and the Miami Hurricanes are No. 16 in the preseason coaches poll released Tuesday.

Miami returns star quarterback D'Eriq King from last year's 8-3 team.

Florida, meanwhile, loses tons of offensive talent from last year's 8-4 team, including quarterback Kyle Trask, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist, and Kyle Pitts, who won the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.

Defending national champion Alabama begins the season just like it ended last season -- as the No. 1 team in the country.

The Crimson Tide claimed 63 of 65 first-place votes despite losing their starting quarterback, running back, top two receivers, including Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, tight end, three starting offensive lineman and four assistant coaches on offense.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood hold trophy after winning 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama head coach Nick Saban and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood hold the trophy after their win against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Alabama won 52-24.

They'll open the season Sept. 4 against Miami in Atlanta.

The Southeastern Conference has the most representatives in the poll with six teams (No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 13 LSU and No. 25 Mississippi), followed by the Big Ten Conference with five (No. 4 Ohio State, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 17 Indiana, No. 18 Iowa and No. 20 Penn State). The Big 12 Conference has four (No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 8 Iowa State, No. 19 Texas and No. 22 Oklahoma State), while the Atlantic Coast Conference (No. 2 Clemson and No. 9 North Carolina) and Pacific 12 Conference each have three (No. 12 Oregon, No. 14 Southern California and No. 21 Washington).

Florida and Miami both finished ranked in the final 2020 coaches poll despite ending the season on losing streaks. The Gators finished 12th despite dropping their final three games, while the Hurricanes finished 18th after losing their last two games.