FLORIDA STATE, which last year narrowly missed winning its first national championship, was voted to the top spot in both the United Press International and Associated Press preseason college football polls.
It is the first time Florida State has been ranked No. 1.The Seminoles, who thought they were the nation's best team a year ago but finished second because of a one-point loss to champion Miami, earned 37 first-place votes in the UPI rankings and 713 of a possible 750 points from the 50 coaches who voted.
On the AP poll, Florida State received 44 of 60 first-place votes and 1,161 of a possible 1,200 points from a nationwide panel of sports writers and sportscasters.
Ten teams received at least one first-place vote on the AP poll, with Nebraska finishing second and Miami ranked eighth. Florida State and Miami open the season against each other on Sept. 3. The Cornhuskers open the season against 10th-ranked Texas A&M in the Kickoff Classic Aug. 27.
Oklahoma, owner of the top spot in the previous three preseason ratings, finished second on the UPI poll with 607 points and four first-place votes.
"Being No. 1 is like drawing a bullseye on your back," Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden said. "But it's something we'd all like to go through someday and we welcome the challenge."
On the UPI ratings, Nebraska placed third, followed by Clemson and Miami. Rounding out the top ten were No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 Southern California, No. 9. UCLA and No. 10 Michigan. The Hurricanes garnered four first-place votes, the Bruins two and the Cornhuskers, Aggies and Wolverines one each.
Completing the Top 20 were No. 11 Iowa, No. 12 Notre Dame, No. 13 Louisiana State, No. 14 Georgia, Michigan State and Penn State - tied at No. 15, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 19 Alabama and No. 20 Texas. The Fighting Irish, Nittany Lions and Crimson Tide were the only ranked teams that failed to place in last season's final ratings.
The UPI Top 20 did not include Syracuse, which finished fourth last season after a 11-0-1 mark. The Orangemen were tied by Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.
In the AP poll, Clemson was fourth, followed by UCLA, Southern California, Auburn, Miami, Iowa and Texas A&M.
The Second Ten consists of Michigan, Georgia, Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan State, West Virginia, Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina and Penn State.
Three first-place ballots and 929 points went to Clemson, the No. 12 team a year ago and winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference crown. Syracuse, last year's No. 4 team, did not make the preseason Top Twenty.
UCLA, which finished ninth in 1987, is fifth this time with two first-place votes and 818 points. Southern Cal, the Bruins' crosstown rival and the defending Pac-10 champion, received three first-place votes and 775 points after finishing 18th last year.
Like Oklahoma, Auburn starts 1988 in the place it wound up 1987. The Tigers are seventh with 769 points.
Miami was a unanimous choice for the 1987 national championship but the Hurricanes received only one first-place ballot and 747 points.
Iowa, No. 16 last year, is ninth with one first-place vote and 736 points. Texas A&M rounds out the Top Ten, the same place the Aggies finished 1987. They received 659 points.
The two other first-place ballots went to Michigan and Notre Dame.
Besides Syracuse, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 20 Arizona State from last year's final rankings failed to crack the preseason Top Twenty.