The Texas A&M football team was ranked No. 21 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 that was released on Sunday.
The Aggies will open the 2014 season against South Carolina in the debut college football game on the SEC Network at 5 p.m. CT on Aug. 28. The Gamecocks, ranked No. 9 by the AP, are one of six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 that are on Texas A&M’s 2014 schedule – all from the Southeastern Conference.
Texas A&M has never played more than four ranked conference opponents in a season. Other AP ranked opponents on the Aggies’ schedule include No. 2 Alabama, No. 6 Auburn, No. 13 LSU, No. 18 Ole Miss and No. 24 Missouri.
Texas A&M returns 11 starters (five on offense and six on defense) and 51 total letterwinners from last year’s squad that posted a 9-4 record and finished the year ranked No. 18 in the Coaches and Associated Press polls. The Aggies’ 51 returning lettermen (22 offense/22 defense/7 special teams) are the second-most in school history.
Returning starters on offense include seniors Jarvis Harrison (OG), Cedric Ogbuehi (OT) and Malcome Kennedy (WR) and junior Mike Matthews (OC) and Germain Ifedi (OG). 2013 starters returning on defense are seniors Deshazor Everett (CB), Howard Matthews (BS) and Floyd Raven (FS) and juniors Julien Obioha (DE), Alonzo Williams (DT) and De’Vante Harris (CB). The Aggie specialists return virtually intact with senior Josh Lambo (PK) and senior Alex Freeman (SNP), juniors Taylor Bertolet (KO), Drew Kaser (P), Trey Williams (KOR) and Harris (PR), and sophomore Conner McQueen (HLD).
Associated Press Top 25 (Preseason, Aug. 17, 2014)
1. Florida State
5. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
9. South Carolina
17. Notre Dame
18. Ole Miss
19. Arizona State
20. Kansas State
21. Texas A&M
23. North Carolina
Others receiving votes: UCF 94, Florida 87, Texas 86, Duke 71, Iowa 68, Louisville 48, Marshall 41, Oklahoma State 37, Virginia Tech 26, TCU 23, Mississippi State 22, Michigan 19, Texas Tech 19, Miami (FL) 16, Cincinnati 15, Boise State 10, Oregon State 10, Northwestern 8, BYU 8, Penn State 5, Vanderbilt 2, Navy 2, Nevada 1, Louisiana-Lafayette 1, Utah State 1
The AP Top 25 is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks college football's best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The rankings are set by listing the teams' point totals from highest to lowest. The mathematical formula is the same as the one used for the AP Pro 32 rankings and the AP Top 25 rankings for men's and women's basketball.
History of the Poll
The Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, and it is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the season. The preseason poll was started in 1950. A panel of 60 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly. All of the voters have an extensive background in covering college football. Alabama, last season's champion, and Notre Dame are tied for the most AP national titles with eight. Oklahoma has seven, while Miami and Southern California have five each. Beginning on Sept. 4, the AP Top 25 will be updated each week. In addition, each team's ranking will be mentioned in AP stories throughout the preseason and the regular season, along with a link to the Top 25: collegefootball.ap.org/poll