Sunday, August 17, 2003

AP voters like Oklahoma No. 1 over Ohio State

By The Associated Press

Oklahoma opens the college football season atop the Associated Press poll for a record ninth time, beating out defending national champion Ohio State for the No. 1 ranking in voting released Saturday.

Oklahoma got 32 first-place votes and 1,573 points to Ohio State's 27 firsts and 1,532 points from the 65 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel. It's the widest margin in the preseason Top 25 since 1999, when Florida State had 77 more points than Tennessee.

Oklahoma, which won its seventh AP title in 2000, also was the No. 1 preseason pick in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, released July 31. The coaches had the same top three teams as the AP, with the Miami Hurricanes third.

For the sixth time in the past seven years, the defending champion did not start the next season at the top of the poll.

The first regular-season AP poll will be Sept. 1.

AP Top 25

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press preseason college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 2002 records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and final ranking:

1. Oklahoma (32)12-21,5735
2. Ohio St. (27)14-01,5321
3. Miami (2)12-11,4842
4. Michigan (2)10-31,3299
5. Texas11-21,3226
6. Auburn (1)9-41,30014
7. Kansas St. (1)11-21,2217
8. Southern Cal11-21,1264
9. Virginia Tech10-41,04618
10. Pittsburgh9-495219
11. Georgia13-19283
12. Tennessee8-5766-
13. Florida St.9-573721
14. LSU8-5736-
15. Maryland11-370513
16. N.C. State11-367812
17. Washington7-6643-
18. Virginia9-555722
19. Purdue7-6468-
20. Notre Dame10-343917
21. Wisconsin8-6350-
22. Arizona St.8-6248-
23. Colorado St.10-4205-
24. Oklahoma St.8-5156-
25. TCU10-29523

Others receiving votes: Florida 79, Nebraska 68, Oregon St. 68, Penn St. 56, Texas A&M 40, Alabama 33, Colorado 27, Arkansas 26, Missouri 22, Fresno St. 21, Mississippi 20, Minnesota 18, Boise St. 10, Oregon 10, Air Force 8, Iowa 8, Miami U. 5, Southern Miss. 3, Boston College 2, Hawaii 2, Washington St. 2, West Virginia 1.

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