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Michigan is ranked No. 7 in the preseason coaches poll, released Thursday, with Michigan State checking in at No. 20.

The Wolverines are coming off a 10-3 season — their third in four seasons under head coach Jim Harbaugh — and are a popular pick to at least make a run at the College Football Playoffs behind a revamped offense led by quarterback Shea Patterson and what's expected to again be a rock-solid defense.

Michigan State, meanwhile, is coming off a tough 7-6 season in which an injury-plagued offense was unable to support one of the nation's top defenses. The majority of that defense returns.

Defending national champion Clemson tops the poll, receiving 59 of 65 first-place votes. Alabama, ranked No. 2, received the other six.

Michigan and Michigan State are among seven teams from the Big Ten in the poll, led by Ohio State at No. 5. Penn State is No. 14, Wisconsin is tied with Central Florida at No. 17, Iowa is No. 19, and Northwestern rounds out the poll at No. 25.

Michigan State opens its season Aug. 30 at home against Tulsa. Michigan opens Aug. 31 against at home against Middle Tennessee.

Coaches poll

1. Clemson, 1,619 points (59 first-place votes)

2. Alabama, 1,566 (6)

3. Georgia, 1,447

4. Oklahoma, 1,415

5. Ohio State, 1,368

6. LSU, 1,218

7. Michigan, 1,155

8. Florida, 1,103

9. Notre Dame, 1,100

10. Texas, 1,038

11. Texas A&M, 893

12. Washington, 834

13. Oregon, 787

14. Penn State, 699

15. Utah, 642

16. Auburn, 606

T17. Wisconsin, 436

T17. UCF, 436

19. Iowa, 343

20. Michigan State, 313

21. Washington State, 274

22. Syracuse, 227

23. Stanford, 200

24. Iowa State, 169

25. Northwestern, 161

Others receiving votes: Nebraska 152; Boise State 118; Mississippi State 111; Miami 94; Army 91; Kentucky 79; Virginia Tech 64; TCU 63; USC 47; Utah State 32; Fresno State 32; Virginia 30; Cincinnati 25; West Virginia 24; Memphis 24; Oklahoma State 20; South Carolina 15; NC State 12; Duke 10; Boston College 5; Florida State 4; Baylor 4; Appalachian State 4; North Texas 3; Houston 3; UCLA 2; Temple 2; Arizona State 2; Troy 1; Tennessee 1; Mississippi 1; Minnesota 1.

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