IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team is ranked 17th in the Associated Press preseason poll that was released on Sunday.
It marks the sixth time that Iowa has been ranked in the AP preseason poll under head coach Kirk Ferentz. The first time came in 2004 followed by 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Iowa returns 13 starters from a team that finished undefeated in the regular season last year at 12-0 and 12-2 overall. Heading the list of returning starters is 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner Desmond King at cornerback, all-Big Ten quarterback C.J. Beathard and all-Big Ten linebacker Josey Jewell.
King is the only Jim Thorpe Award winner to return to college. The senior from Detroit also excels as a return specialist.
Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams ranked in the AP poll. Ohio State is the highest ranked Big Ten team at No. 6, one spot ahead of Michigan and six spots ahead of 12th-ranked Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the coaches poll, which was recently released.
Stanford, which crushed Iowa 45-16 in the 2016 Rose Bowl, is ranked eighth in the AP poll.
Defending national champion Alabama is ranked first in the AP poll, while 2015 national runner-up Clemson is second. Oklahoma is ranked third, followed by Florida State and Louisiana State.
Iowa will face Miami (Ohio) in the season opener on Sept. 3 at Kinnick Stadium.
Associated Press top-25 preseason poll
4. Florida Stae
6. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
12. Michigan State
13. Texas Christian
20. Southern California
21. Oklahoma State
22. North Carolina