Alabama tops preseason coaches' poll
ALABAMA IS No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches' poll.
The Crimson Tide was an overwhelming choice, receiving 58 of 62 first-place votes. Ohio State was second and received three first-place votes. Oregon is No. 3, Stanford is 4, Georgia is five and No. 6 Texas A&M received the other first-place vote.
Half the top 10 is from the Southeastern Conference, which has won the last seven national championships, including three in the last 4 years by Alabama.
South Carolina is No. 7 and Florida is No. 10. No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Louisville round out the top 10. No. 12 LSU gives the SEC six teams in the top 25.
Notre Dame, which lost the BCS title game 42-14 to Alabama last season, is No. 11.
The NCAA rule connected to Penn State's sanctions that had the earliest impact on the football program is set to expire. Preseason camp begins Monday. Once a Nittany Lion takes part, that player no longer has the option to transfer without having to sit out a year at a new school. Athletic department officials this week and at Big Ten media days in Chicago last week had initially said it was Aug. 1. The department yesterday said the deadline is actually Monday.
* Oklahoma quarterback Kendal Thompson broke his right foot in practice and is expected to be out until early in the regular season.
* Florida will open fall practice without quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones (viral infection) and linebacker Antonio Morrison. The Gators also will be without guard Jon Halapio, the team's top offensive lineman.
Driskel had an appendectomy Sunday, but coach Will Muschamp said at the school's annual media day yesterday that he should be back within 2 weeks.
Muschamp said Jones, who had been expected to be the centerpiece of the team's run-oriented offense, complained of pain in his side earlier in the week. Muschamp was hoping Jones "ate a bad cheeseburger." Tests, though, revealed a viral infection.
Morrison remains suspended following his second arrest of the summer. Halapio, meanwhile, has a partially torn pectoral muscle.
* One of Miami's incoming freshmen has been followed by Hurricanes coach Al Golden since birth. Greg Golden is the Miami coach's nephew, and has signed on to play wide receiver for the Hurricanes. Al Golden this is "a lifelong dream" for his nephew, who played high school football in Red Bank, N.J.
Al Golden says that his nephew won't be getting any special treatment, and that "what happens in the locker room is his business and what comes from the head coach is my business."