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Wolverines Ranked Fifth in Preseason Associated Press Poll
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New York -- The 120th season of University of Michigan Football will begin with the Wolverines ranked fifth in both major national polls. The Associated Press poll released today (August 15) rated the defending national champions fifth while the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll selected the Wolverines in the same spot last Thursday (August 6).

Michigan received 1,475 points and four first-place votes from the panel of 70 voters. The Wolverines finished No. 1 in the final 1997 Associated Press poll (Jan. 2) after defeating Washington State (20-16) in the Rose Bowl to complete the year with a 12-0 record.

Big Ten foe Ohio State begins the 1998 season as the consenus preseason No. 1 ranked team. The Buckeyes received 1,668 points and 30 first place votes to edge out No. 2 Florida State by five points. The voting was the second closest in the 48-year history of the AP preseason poll (Florida beat out Notre Dame by two points in 1994). The Seminoles received 1,663 points and 22 first-place votes. Rounding out the Top 5 are No. 3 Florida (1,547 points, five first place) and Nebraska (1,534, four).

The Big Ten Conference is tied with the SEC with five teams ranked in the preseason Top 25. Besides Michigan and Ohio State, the Big Ten is represented by Penn State (13th), Wisconsin (20th) and Michigan State (23rd). The SEC has Florida, Louisiana State, Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn ranked in the Top 25.

Michigan opens its season at No. 22 Notre Dame (Sept. 5) before returning to Ann Arbor for the home opener against No. 17 Syracuse (Sept. 12). They conclude the non-conference schedule versus Eastern Michigan (Sept. 17).

Following is the Associated Press Preseason Top 25.

School Points
1. Ohio State (30) 1,668
2. Florida State (22) 1,663
3. Florida (5) 1,547
4. Nebraska (4) 1,534
5. Michigan (4) 1,475
6. Kansas State (2) 1,335
7. UCLA (1) 1,331
8. Arizona State (2) 1,256
9. Louisiana State 1,237
10. Tennessee 1,094
11. West Virginia 985
12. North Carolina 864
13. Penn State 804
14. Texas A&M 760
15. Colorado State 631
16. Virginia 620
17. Syracuse 608
18. Washington 494
19. Georgia 480
20. Wisconsin 444
21. Southern Mississippi   341
22. Notre Dame 291
23. Michigan State 211
24. Arizona 208
25. Auburn 201

Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423


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