California has been ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll released on Saturday, equaling the spot the Golden Bears rank in the USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll released on August 7.
The ranking also equals the second-highest preseason ranking the Bears have received in the AP Poll since Jeff Tedford became the team's head coach in 2002. In the Tedford era, Cal has also been listed among the AP's Top 25 teams heading into the season in 2004 (No. 13), 2005 (No. 19), 2006 (No. 9) and 2007 (No. 12).
"Preseason rankings really don't mean all that much other than it is a situation where there are people that feel like you have the potential to be a good team," said Tedford. "What we do with that potential is totally up to us." Defending national champion Florida is the country's top-ranked team in both polls and received 58 of the 60 first-place votes from AP. Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Alabama, Ohio State and Virginia State are ranked No. 2 through No. 7 in both polls. Texas picked up the other two first-place votes in the AP Poll. No. 8 Mississippi (No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll) is the first variation between the two polls, while Penn State and Oklahoma State are tied for the No. 9 position in the AP Poll after being ranked No. 8 and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, respectively.
The remainder of the AP Top 25 includes LSU, Cal, Georgia, Boise State, Georgia Tech, Oregon, TCU, Florida State, Utah, Brigham Young, North Carolina, Iowa, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Kansas.
Cal is in the midst of its 2009 training camp that continues through August 29 with that day's practice followed by Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium from noon-2 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
The Bears begin their 2009 campaign with a nationally televised ESPN2 contest against Maryland at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 5 (7 p.m.). Cal fans are encouraged to participate in a Blue Out in the season-opener.