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Quote:'Noles ranked No. 12 in the USA Today poll

By Jack Corcoran

DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER


Despite a tumultuous offseason, Florida State debuted Friday at No. 12 in the USA Today coaches' poll.

As expected, defending champion USC will start the season at No.1. The Trojans received 60 first-place votes to give them a commanding advantage over No.2 Texas, which was first on the other two ballots. Tennessee, Michigan and Oklahoma round out the top five.

Wyatt Sexton's bout with Lyme disease means FSU will have to rely on redshirt freshmen Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford at quarterback. FSU also lost all-conference cornerback Antonio Cromartie (knee) and defensive tackle Clifton Dickson (academics) during the summer.

Five Atlantic Coast Conference teams were ranked, starting with defending league champ Virginia Tech at No.7. Miami (No.8), newcomer Boston College (No.22) and Virginia (No. 23) also made the poll.
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