The Arizona football team received 28 points in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, which puts the Wildcats at No. 32 nationally.
That seems to be something of a surprise (at least to me), because it indicates that more than one of the 59 coaches who vote — no, UA’s Mike Stoops is not one of them — put Arizona in the Top 25.
Teams receive 25 points for first place, then 24 for second, 23 for third, etc.
What is not a surprise is that this poll, which makes up one-third of the BCS rankings, confirms that the Wildcats have the toughest September schedule in the nation.
Arizona will play at No. 8 Oklahoma State on Sept. 8, then returns home for No. 6 Stanford (Sept. 17) and third-ranked Oregon (Sept. 24).
Arizona then opens October with a game at USC, which is not ranked by the coaches because the program is on probation, ineligible for the postseason. But the Trojans were picked last week to win the Pac-12 South in a vote of the league’s media.
Oklahoma is USA Today’s preseason No. 1, receiving 42 first-place votes. Alabama, with 13 first-place votes, is No. 2. Oregon and fourth-ranked LSU each received two first-place mentions.
No other Pac-12 team, other than Oregon and Stanford, is in the preseason Top 25. Arizona State is ranked No. 26 — the first among others receiving votes. New conference member Utah is 28th overall.
(AP preseason ballots are due next week. I will be the state’s media member who votes in the AP poll this year.)