It would’ve been difficult to believe when the contract was signed six years ago, but the Boise State and Florida State football teams will meet in the 2019 season opener as unranked foes.
The Broncos finished 33rd in voting in The Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll, released Monday. The Seminoles didn’t receive any votes.
The Broncos finished 27th in voting for the USA Today Coaches’ Poll this month. The Seminoles got four points in that poll.
Boise State has appeared in the Top 25 at least once for 17 straight seasons, starting in 2002. The Broncos have finished in the Top 25 in 12 of those seasons, including last season (No. 23 AP, No. 24 USA Today). But losing four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien likely was a key factor in the Broncos starting outside the Top 25 this season.
Florida State also is a Top 25 regular but is coming off its first losing season in 42 years. The Broncos and Seminoles meet Aug. 31 in Jacksonville, Florida (5 p.m. MT, ESPN) — a game that landed in a prime TV slot because of the programs’ reputations.
No. 17 UCF is the only team from the Group of Five conferences in either preseason poll. Boise State received the next-highest vote total among the schools competing for the five conferences’ spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Cincinnati, Fresno State, Utah State, Memphis and Appalachian State also received AP votes.
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I am voting in the AP Top 25 poll this season. Here is my preseason ballot, which is based primarily on three factors: where a team finished last season, how many key players are returning and where teams were ranked in the conference preseason polls. The exception to the last one is the Mountain West, because that’s the conference I cover, and I would have picked Utah State as the conference favorite (returning a star QB, playing Boise State at home).
5. Ohio State
7. Notre Dame
12. Texas A&M
17. Penn State
18. Washington State
21. Iowa State
24. Appalachian State
25. Utah State
Also considered: Nebraska, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Boise State, Fresno State.