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Utah, BYU, USU to face ranked opponents in 2013

Published: Thursday, Aug. 1 2013 6:49 p.m. MDT

Michael Alisa (42) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Boise State defenders during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Michael Alisa (42) of the Brigham Young Cougars is tackled by Boise State defenders during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah, BYU and Utah State will all face teams ranked in the USA Today preseason college football poll this season.

The Utes lead the way with five opponents (No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Stanford, No. 21 UCLA, No. 24 USC and No. 25 Oregon State) in the rankings, while the Cougars face four (No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 15 Texas, No. 19 Boise State and No. 23 Wisconsin and former USU coach Gary Andersen) and the Aggies two (Boise State and USC).

Defending national champion Alabama tops the first coaches’ poll of the season. Ohio State and ex-Utah coach Urban Meyer are second.

As others receiving votes, USU checked in at No. 35, receiving 23 points in the poll, while the BYU Cougars came in at one spot lower at No. 36, receiving 20 points.

Alabama is No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches’ poll.

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, left, Marcus Mariota, middle, and Michael Clay celebrate a win over Kansas State after the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz.  Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (Ross Franklin, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, left, Marcus Mariota, middle, and Michael Clay celebrate a win over Kansas State after the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (Ross Franklin, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“We appreciate the recognition, but preseason polls don't determine who the best teams will be," Alabama coach Nick Saban said to USA Today. "We aren't entitled to anything, and this team's achievements will be based on what they create with the quality of their play and consistency in performance."

The Crimson Tide received 58 of the 62 first-place votes. The Buckeyes picked up three and No. 6 Texas A&M had one.

Oregon, Stanford and Georgia were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Following Texas A&M, the remainder of the top 10 is comprised of South Carolina, Clemson, Louisville and Florida.

Notre Dame, Florida State, Louisiana State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State and TCU are ranked 11-20. UCLA, Northwestern, Wisconsin, USC and Oregon State round out the top 25.

Stanford fullback Ryan Hewitt (85), center right, celebrate his 1-yard rushing touchdown with teammate David Yankey, center left, during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct.  27, 2012. Stanford won 24-17.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (Marcio Jose Sanchez, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Stanford fullback Ryan Hewitt (85), center right, celebrate his 1-yard rushing touchdown with teammate David Yankey, center left, during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Stanford won 24-17. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (Marcio Jose Sanchez, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

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