Published Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 11:02 am / Updated at 10:05 pm
Huskers No. 18 in preseason coaches poll

LINCOLN — Nebraska is ranked 18th in the USA Today preseason coaches poll released Thursday, one spot behind Legends Division rival Michigan but well back of Big Ten favorite Ohio State.

The Buckeyes, who received three first-place votes, sit at No. 2 behind the near-consensus No. 1 team, defending champion Alabama. No. 6 Texas A&M had one first-place vote.

Ohio State finished 12-0 last season, but was ineligible for consideration in the poll because of NCAA sanctions.

Nebraska won’t play Ohio State during the regular season this year, but is set to face No. 17 Michigan, No. 21 UCLA and No. 22 Northwestern. Wisconsin, not on NU’s schedule this fall, is ranked No. 23.

The Big Ten has five teams ranked in the poll, tied with the Pac-12 for the second most behind the SEC’s six. Five SEC teams are in the top 10.

Four Big Ten teams were ranked in the coaches poll before the start of the 2012 season — Michigan was highest at No. 8. Two years ago, the league had five in the top 25, with Wisconsin highest at No. 10.

Nebraska’s been ranked in the last five preseason coaches polls, as high as No. 9 in 2010 and as low as No. 22 in 2009.

But the Huskers haven’t finished better than 14th in the season-ending poll during that stretch. They won the Legends Division last year, but lost the Big Ten title game to Wisconsin and came up short at the Capital One Bowl against Georgia, falling to 23rd in the coaches rankings by the end of the season.

NU coach Bo Pelini is one of the 62 coaches who will submit weekly ballots to formulate the USA Today Top 25 for the rest of the year.

The Huskers’ season kicks off against Wyoming at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31. Preseason training camp begins Monday.

The complete poll:

Rank, Team, Rec., Pts., 1st-place votes, Prv.
1. Alabama, 13-1, 1545, 58, 1
2. Ohio St., 12-0, 1427, 3, NR
3. Oregon, 12-1, 1397, 0, 2
4. Stanford, 12-2, 1262, 0, 6
5. Georgia, 12-2, 1250, 0, 4
6. Texas A&M, 11-2, 1215, 1, 5
7. South Carolina, 11-2, 1136, 0, 7
8. Clemson, 11-2, 1047, 0, 9
9. Louisville, 11-2, 1010, 0, 13
10. Florida, 11-2, 930, 0, 10
11. Notre Dame, 12-1, 872, 0, 3
12. Florida St., 12-2, 844, 0, 8
13. LSU, 10-3, 797, 0, 12
14. Oklahoma St., 8-5, 726, 0, NR
15. Texas, 9-4, 622, 0, 18
16. Oklahoma, 10-3, 620, 0, 15
17. Michigan, 8-5, 589, 0, NR
18. Nebraska, 10-4, 426, 0, 23
19. Boise St., 11-2, 420, 0, 14
20. TCU, 7-6, 400, 0, NR
21. UCLA, 9-5, 202, 0, NR
22. Northwestern, 10-3, 186, 0, 16
23. Wisconsin, 8-6, 172, 0, NR
24. USC, 7-6, 165, 0, NR
25. Oregon St., 9-4, 135, 0, 19

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