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Hurricanes to open season as top 25 team for first time under Manny Diaz

Miami ranked No. 14 in preseason AP poll, No. 16 in preseason coaches poll
Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz congratulates QB D'Eriq King at Duke Blue Devils in 2020
Posted at 1:28 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 13:40:31-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Miami Hurricanes are a top 25 team to begin a season for the first time under third-year head coach Manny Diaz.

Miami is ranked No. 14 in the preseason Associated Press poll released Monday, one spot behind No. 13 Florida.

The Hurricanes were also ranked No. 16 in the preseason coaches poll released last week.

It is the first time Miami is ranked in the preseason poll since Diaz took over in 2019.

Miami finished the 2020 season ranked No. 22 in the AP poll after back-to-back losses to North Carolina and Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Miami Hurricanes QB D'Eriq King vs. Oklahoma State in 2020 Cheez-It Bowl
Miami quarterback D'Eriq King looks for a receiver as Oklahoma State defensive tackle Sione Asi rushes during the first half of the Cheez-It Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.

The last time the Hurricanes began a season ranked in the AP poll was when then-No. 8 Miami lost to No. 25 LSU 33-17 in the 2018 season opener.

Miami and Florida are the only ranked teams in the state. The Hurricanes are one of three Atlantic Coast Conference teams ranked among the top 25, joining No. 3 Clemson and No. 10 North Carolina.

The Southeastern Conference leads the way with five ranked teams (No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 13 Florida and No. 16 LSU), including three in the top 10.

Miami will open the season against defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama on Sept. 4 in Atlanta. The Hurricanes haven't beaten a No. 1-ranked team since upsetting Florida State 27-24 in 2000.