First football poll released

The first preseason national college football poll has been released. Where do Glen Mason's Golden Gophers rank?

The ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches poll was released on Thursday, and although the Gophers aren't ranked in the top 25, they did receive votes. The Gophers check in at 39th in the nation based on the rankings filed by a panel of Division I head football coaches.

Five Big Ten schools are ranked in the top 25, led by defending national champion Ohio State at No. 2. The Buckeyes received 28 first-place votes, topped only by No. 1 Oklahoma's 29.

Michigan follows at No. 7, Wisconsin is ranked 20th, Purdue 22nd and Penn State rounds out the poll tied at No. 25.

Other Big Ten schools receiving votes include defending conference champion Iowa (27th) and Illinois (t-56th). None of the Gophers' nonconference foes received votes in the poll.

Gopher head coach Glen Mason is one of the 63 coaches who will vote in the poll this season.

Senior quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq was named to the 2003 Davey O'Brien Award watch list. The O'Brien award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate quarterback.

Abdul-Khaliq has already been named a preseason All-Big Ten first-team selection by Street & Smith's 2003 College Preview and was also named to the 2003 College Football News Preseason All-America Watch List at quarterback.

Other Big Ten quarterbacks among the 42 candidates on the list are Jon Beutjer, Illinois; Craig Krenzel, Ohio State; Matt LoVecchio, Indiana; Zack Mills, Penn State; John Navarre, Michigan; and Kyle Orton, Purdue.

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