Alabama Claims Top Spot in Preseason GolfWorld/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll

(NEW YORK, NY) — The preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Division I College Coaches’ Poll has been released, combining the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The complete results, including results from Divisions II, III, NAIA and NJCAA will appear in the September 3, 2012 issue of Golf World. Returning NCAA player of the year Justin Thomas and two other All-Americans in Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett for the 2012-13 college season, Alabama claims the No. 1 spot in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I preseason men's coaches' poll.

The Crimson Tide, hard-luck runner's up at last year's NCAA Championship, earned 13 of the 23 available first-place votes. It's the first time the school has been ranked atop the Golf World polls since the close of the 2007-08 season and the first time since the polls were revived in 2001-02 that the team is No. 1 to start the fall.

Defending NCAA champion Texas, with eight first-place votes, claimed the No. 2 spot in the ranking. The Longhorns won the national championship last June at Riviera CC, the first time the school had claimed college golf's top prize in 40 years.

Pac-12 champion California, an NCAA semifinalist in 2012, earned the third spot. The Golden Bears had four players reach match play at the recent U.S. Amateur Championship, including runner-up Michael Weaver.

Rounding out the top five are UCLA and Washington. The Bruins must replace Patrick Cantlay, the 2011 NCAA player of the year who turned pro this past summer, while the Huskies are led by senior Chris Williams, the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Visit Senior Writer Ryan Herrington’s “Campus Insider” blog to find out the latest on collegiate golf:http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/blogs/campusinsider.

Division I - August 29, 2012

Rank University (First Place Votes) Points 2012 NCAA Finish
1 Alabama (13) 558 2
2 Texas (8) 514 1
3 California (1) 483 Semifinals
4 UCLA 474 Quarterfinals
5 Washington (1) 408 Quarterfinals
6 Auburn 390 T15
7 Georgia Tech 374 N/A
8 Arkansas 358 N/A
9 Southern California 348 T15
10 Texas A&M 333 14
11 Stanford 299 T19
12 Florida 271 T12
13 UNLV 228 N/A
14 Oregon 226 Semifinals
15 North Florida 215 T12
16 Florida State 212 T8
17 San Diego State 211 Quarterfinals
18 Kent State 183 Quarterfinals
19 Georgia 161 17
20 UCF 144 T19
21 Duke 141 N/A
22 Virginia 128 T22
23 New Mexico 105 N/A
24 Clemson 93 N/A
25 Oklahoma 92 11
Dropped From Ranking: N/A
Others Receiving Votes: Illinois, 87; Liberty, 65; Oklahoma State, 55; Chattanooga, 53; South Carolina, 52; LSU, 36; SMU, 34; Iowa, 31; Tennessee, 25; North Texas, 24; TCU, 23; Wake Forest, 12; San Jose State, 9; Saint Mary's College, 6; NC State, 5; Texas Tech, 5; Memphis, 4.