The Boise State football team will begin the season in the USA Today Coaches Poll top 25, but theyll face a difficult road to stay there.
Boise State is No. 19 in the preseason poll released Thursday. This is the fifth straight year the Broncos have debuted in the poll. They were No. 16 in 2009, No. 5 in 2010, No. 7 in 2011 and No. 22 in 2012.
The Broncos are the only team from one of the four non-Bowl Championship Series conferences to make the poll.
None of their 12 opponents are ranked, but four are listed among others receiving votes Fresno State (31st), Utah State (35th), BYU (36th) and Washington (tied for 43rd). The Broncos play all of those teams on the road before the end of October, beginning with the season opener Aug. 31 at Washington.
Alabama was an overwhelming choice at the top of the poll, receiving 58-of-62 first-place votes. Ohio State was second and received three first-place votes. Oregon is No. 3, Stanford is 4, Georgia is five and No. 6 Texas A&M received the other first-place vote.
Half the top 10 is from the Southeastern Conference, which has won the past seven national championships, including three in the last four years by Alabama.
South Carolina is No. 7 and Florida is No. 10. No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Louisville, which represents the new American Athletic Conference, round out the top 10. No. 12 LSU gives the SEC six teams in the top 25. Notre Dame, which lost the BCS title game 42-14 to Alabama last season, is No. 11.