Florida football is No.1 in first Associated Press poll
Florida hasn't played a game yet but the Gators are already winning big, garnering all but two of 60 first-place votes today in the first preseason Associated Press college football poll.
The defending national champions received 58 first-place votes, while No. 2 Texas had two. Oklahoma was third in the poll, followed by USC, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Mississippi. Oklahoma State and Penn State tied for ninth place.
Notre Dame debuts at No.23 in the AP poll while UCLA received seven points under the category "others receiving votes."
Florida, which returns all 11 defensive starters and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, was also No.1 in the USA Today coaches' poll, released last month.
The AP, citing conflict of interest after the 2004 season, pulled out of the Bowl Championship Series standings formula used to determine the national title-game participants. But the AP, which started its poll in 1936, still crowns an independent champion.
-- Chris Dufresne
Photo: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, left, and coach Urban Meyer. Credit: Phil Sandlin / Associated Press