College football rankings: Florida Gators open 2021 at No. 11 in Preseason Coaches Poll

By Adam Silverstein
August 10, 2021
College football rankings: Florida Gators open 2021 at No. 11 in Preseason Coaches Poll

Image Credit: Tiffany Franco / UAA

Coming off three straight New Year’s Six bowls appearances but with key roster changes perhaps shaking confidence in the program, the Florida Gators will open the 2021 season exactly where it left off in 2020 at No. 11 in the Preseason Coaches Poll. UF opened at No. 8 in the 2019 and 2020 preseason rankings.

The Gators were not ranked among the top 25 teams in the 2018 preseason poll but have now been ranked among the top 15 in three consecutive preseason and postseason polls under head coach Dan Mullen.

Florida finished 8-4 (8-2 SEC) last season, losing its final three games of the year, including a 37-34 shocker to LSU, a hard-fought 52-46 defeat to No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and a disastrous 55-20 takedown at the hands of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, which saw UF largely mail in its efforts. This despite the Gators winning four straight games to end both the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Alabama, the defending national champions, will open the season as the near-unanimous No. 1 team in the nation, receiving 63 of 65 first-place votes from the coaches. Clemson, Oklahoma (two votes), Ohio State and Georgia round out the top five with Texas A&M the only other SEC team ahead of Florida entering the season.

In all, there are six SEC teams ranked with LSU at No. 13 and Ole Miss at No. 25. Miami enters the season at No. 16, though neither Florida State nor UCF are ranked.

2021 Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Alabama (63)
2. Clemson
3. Oklahoma (2)
4. Ohio State
5. Georgia
6. Texas A&M
7. Notre Dame
8. Iowa State
9. North Carolina
10. Cincinnati
11. Florida
12. Oregon
13. LSU
14. USC
15. Wisconsin
16. Miami
17. Indiana
18. Iowa
19. Texas
20. Penn State
21. Washington
22. Oklahoma State
23. Louisiana
24. Coastal Carolina
25. Ole Miss

Others receiving votes: Utah 145; Northwestern 120; Arizona State 90; Auburn 84; Liberty 68; Brigham Young 53; Texas Christian 48; Michigan 30; Central Florida 29; NC State 27; Boise State 27; Kentucky 20; San Jose State 18; Army 13; Virginia Tech 9; Missouri 8; UCLA 7; Tulsa 6; Pittsburgh 6; Boston College 6; Houston 5; Ball State 5; West Virginia 4; Southern Methodist 4; Appalachian State 4; UAB 3; Arkansas 3; Nevada 2; Mississippi State 2; Air Force 2; Stanford 1; Marshall 1; Florida State 1; California 1

For the first time in years, the Gators will be represented on the voting panel with Mullen contributing as one of 65 coaches submitting votes. Others with State of Florida or SEC ties include Manny Diaz of Miami, Bryan Harsin of Auburn, Clark Lea of Vanderbilt, Gus Malzahn of UCF, Sam Pittman of Arkansas, Nick Saban of Alabama and Kirby Smart of Georgia.

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