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One team the voters felt good about after the preseason was Carolina; the Panthers moved up two spots to No. 18.

“Division crowded with contenders, and that might include Panthers before long,” Bob Glauber of Newsday said of the NFC South. “I can’t say enough about Cam Newton’s leadership and ability. A surprise team in `12? Could be.”

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL