Michigan football ranked No. 9 in preseason Coaches Poll

Wolverines spent entire 2016 season inside top 10


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan football team spent the entire 2016 season in the top 10 of every major poll, and the Wolverines will pick up right where they left off to begin the 2017 campaign.

On Thursday, with less than a month left until Michigan's opening game against the Florida Gators in Dallas, the preseason edition of the Coaches Poll was released.

Along with the AP Poll, the Coaches Poll is one of the major college football rankings that's released every week during the season. Though they don't actually have an effect on the College Football Playoff or the bowl season, the two rankings are among the many barometers used to gauge a team's talent before they actually step onto the field.

This season, Michigan checks in at No. 9 in the preseason Coaches Poll despite losing 10 starters on defense and many of its skill players on offense. The Wolverines are the third-highest Big Ten team in the rankings behind Ohio State, at No. 2, and Penn State, at No. 6.

Alabama sits atop the list, with Michigan's recent Orange Bowl opponent, Florida State, at No. 3, USC, at No. 4, and defending national champion Clemson, at No. 5, rounding out the top five.

Washington, at No. 7, is the lowest-ranked member of last season's College Football Playoff, while Oklahoma, at No. 8, landed inside the top 10 despite the sudden offseason retirement of legendary coach Bob Stoops.

Wisconsin rounds out the top 10, giving the Big Ten more than twice as many top-10 teams as any other conference.

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Alabama received 49 of the 65 first-place votes. Clemson received seven first-place votes, Ohio State received five and Florida State received four.

There's a large gap between Michigan and the top eight teams, with Oklahoma receiving 1,237 points and Michigan receiving 959. Wisconsin, with 936 points, and Oklahoma State, at No. 11 with 912 points, are right behind the Wolverines.

Florida will bring the No. 16 ranking into the opening week matchup against Michigan on Sept. 2.

Here's a look at the full top 25: