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Huskers begin season No. 22 in both polls
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Huskers begin season No. 22 in both polls

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Perhaps Rex Burkhead's old number will bring the Huskers good fortune.

Nebraska starts the 2014 football season ranked 22nd in the Associated Press preseason poll. NU holds the same spot in the coaches poll.

The Huskers were one of four Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25, which was released Sunday afternoon — Ohio State was fifth, Michigan State eighth, and Wisconsin 14th. 

The SEC led the way, with eight teams in the poll, including five of the top 13. Georgia, which Nebraska defeated in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, was ranked 12th.

Defending national champion Florida State was a runaway No. 1 pick, receiving 57 of the 60 first-place votes. The Seminoles were followed by Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma and the Buckeyes.

Starting the year on top isn't always a blessing. USC was the last AP preseason No. 1 team to win a national championship. That was 2004.

It's also worth noting that four of the teams that finished in last year's top 10 weren't even ranked in the preseason.

Prognosticating can be tricky business, especially when it comes to a team such as Notre Dame. The Irish are 17th in the AP rankings, but the vote was taken before the news that the team has suspended four players, including three starters, while investigating suspected academic fraud.

As for the Huskers, they're ranked despite finishing last year just outside the AP poll, but ranked No. 25 by the coaches.

Having begun last season ranked 18th, this is the lowest preseason ranking for Nebraska since 2009, when the Huskers were 24th.

The AP poll, with first-place votes in parenthesis and points:

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1. Florida State (57) 1,496

2. Alabama (1) 1,361

3. Oregon (1) 1,334

4. Oklahoma (1) 1,324

5. Ohio State 1,207

6. Auburn 1,198

7. UCLA 1,106

8. Michigan State 1,080

9. South Carolina 1,015

10. Baylor 966

11. Stanford 885

12. Georgia 843

13. LSU 776

14. Wisconsin 637

15. USC 626

16. Clemson 536

17. Notre Dame 445

18. Ole Miss 424

19. Arizona State 357

20. Kansas State 242

21. Texas A&M 238

22. Nebraska 226

23. North Carolina 194

24. Missouri 134

25. Washington 130

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 (Fla.) 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.

​Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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