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USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll: Syracuse Orange Facing Three Ranked Opponents

The first USA Today Coaches Poll (now brought to you by AMWAY!) has been released, which gives us some sort of gauge as to the quality of opponents Syracuse will face this year.

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We're getting VERY close to college football season! So close there are actual polls out from actual voters predicting what might happen. No, these polls don't matter at all. But their appearance is a sign that my (and hopefully, your) favorite time of year is nigh.

The AMWAY Coaches Poll spells out the top 25 teams in the nation, as determined by a bunch of the nation's college interns coaches, plus a bunch of other teams that received votes but not enough to be ranked. You can find the preseason poll here, but the teams you'll really care about:

1. Florida State Seminoles: Defending National Champs, terrifying amounts of returning speed and depth, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. No surprise they're ranked atop the polls. And it will be no surprise when they spoil Syracuse's homecoming game this year.

16. Clemson Tigers: The Tigers replace a bunch on the offensive side of the ball (most importantly: Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins), so there's a possibility for a drop-off this season. But with a recent stretch of very solid recruiting, plus OC Chad Morris and what should be a top-15 defense in the country, the fall will be limited for Clemson.

17. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Our sort-of football conference-mates replace a lot on defense, but with Everett Golson returning under center following some academic issues last season, they look like a pretty formidable foe just the same. Expect MetLife Stadium to be overloaded with Notre Dame fans in September, with about 90 percent of those having never been anywhere near South Bend, Ind.


On top of those three, there's also the two "receiving votes" teams, Duke and Louisville, on the slate as well. The Blue Devils (41 points in the poll) head up to the Carrier Dome on November 8, and could very well be ranked by that point in the season. The Cardinals (32 votes) make their return to Syracuse on October 3 -- a dreaded Friday night date at the Dome for opponents, for those familiar with our recent history of big victories on that day of the week.

Also of note, fellow ACC foe North Carolina finds itself ranked at 23rd overall, while Miami (45), Virginia Tech (12) and Georgia Tech (two) also receive some votes. Despite losing to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl last year, Minnesota also managed to gain themselves six votes, too. Can't say I'm surprised to see it from college football's most storied program.