After their berth to the College Football Playoffs’ semifinals, the Washington Huskies finished the season ranked in the top five in the Amway Coaches Poll.
And they will start 2017 in the top 10.
The annual coaches’ poll was released Thursday, with the Huskies debuting this season at No. 7.
After practice Thursday, UW coach Chris Petersen indicated he puts no stock in before-the-season rankings.
“Our guys are wise enough to know — they care less about preseason polls,” Petersen said.
“You want to talk about polls? Let’s talk at the end of the year. I am all ears. They’re all ears.”
Considering three of the UW’s four secondary starters were taken high in the NFL Draft, and the Huskies lost top wide receiver John Ross, taken in the first round by Cincinnati, falling three spots from their end-of-season ranking (No. 4) is not a head-scratching drop.
Last season, the UW returne to the preseason coaches poll at No. 18 - one spot behind USC.
The Trojans are ranked higher in this year’s poll — No. 4 — as the top Pac 12 program. Stanford is 14th, and Utah rounds out the rankings at No. 25.
For the second conecutive season, Alabama will start as the top-ranked team. The Crimson Tide defeated the Huskies in the Peach Bowl before losing to Clemson in the national title game.
Ohio State is No. 2, folowed by Florida State at No. 3. Defending national champion Clemson is fifth.