The Associated Press deemed Stanford football the 14th-ranked team in the nation on Monday to start the 2017 season after finishing last season at No. 12 following a Sun Bowl victory.
Monday’s rankings mark the seventh consecutive season Stanford has earned a spot in the preseason AP poll. The Cardinal have yet to be left out of the initial poll with head coach David Shaw at the helm.
The Cardinal hold the third best ranking of all Pac-12 schools in the poll behind the USC Trojans at No. 4 and the Washington Huskies at No. 8.
Four Pac-12 teams total garnered enough votes to make the top-25, with the Washington State Cougars checking in at No. 24. The Utah Utes just missed the top-25 with 85 votes, just 29 fewer than No. 25 Tennessee. The Colorado Buffaloes did not make the cut despite finishing last season ranked No. 17.
The Alabama Crimson Tide were once again named the team to beat in college football, claiming the No. 1 ranking for the second straight year and fourth time since 2010. The Ohio State Buckeyes grabbed the No. 2 spot while the defending champion Clemson Tigers were placed in the No. 5 spot.
The Cardinal have three opponents this season ranked in the preseason poll—USC, Washington and Washington State—with the Cougars and the Huskies on the schedule back-to-back weekends. While only three top-25 opponents appears to be an easy slate, this number should be misleading, as many of Stanford’s scheduled opponents narrowly missed the cut for the top-25—including Utah, Notre Dame and Oregon.
Stanford will look to improve upon its initial ranking and start the long and hopeful journey that is the college football season Saturday against the Rice Owls in Sydney, Australia. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Pacific Time, and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Contact Samuel Curry at currys ‘at’ stanford.edu.