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LSU ranked No. 1 in USA Today Coaches Poll

LSU ranked No. 1 in USA Today Coaches Poll
LSU

POSTED: Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 1:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 10:56pm

For the first time since 1959, LSU will open a football season ranked No. 1 in the nation as the Tigers have been placed atop the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the organization announced on Thursday.

LSU returns 15 starters from last year’s team that captured the Southeastern Conference title and went 13-0 during the regular season before falling in the BCS National Championship Game. LSU spent 11 straight weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation a year ago.

“It’s a complement to our program and the body of work that has been accomplished here,” head coach Les Miles said. “We understand that it’s a spot that we hold right now and nothing more. We recognize that we have to earn our spot and there are a lot of games to be played before anything is determined.”

The last time LSU opened a season ranked No. 1 came in 1959 when the Associated Press tagged the Tigers as the top-ranked squad. LSU responded by beating Rice, 26-3, to open the year. LSU remained No. 1 for eight straight games before falling to Tennessee, 14-13, in week eight. LSU went to the Sugar Bowl that year in what was Billy Cannon’s Heisman Trophy winning season.

With the No. 1 preseason ranking, the Tigers will run their streak of consecutive games played as the nation’s top-ranked team to 11 straight when LSU opens the 2012 season against North Texas in Tiger Stadium. The 11 consecutive games as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team is just two shy of tying the LSU mark of 13 set in 1958-59

LSU’s schedule features a total of five Top 25 teams, including three in the Top 10. Alabama is No. 2 in the poll with South Carolina at No. 9 and Arkansas at No. 10. Florida at No. 23 and Auburn at No. 25 round out the remainder of LSU opponents in the preseason poll. Georgia is the only other SEC team in the poll as the Bulldogs are ranked No. 6.

2012 USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll – Preseason

Rank Team Points Previous First Place Votes

1. LSU (13-1) 1403 2 18

2. Alabama (12-1) 1399 1 20

3. Southern California (10-2) 1388 not ranked 19

4. Oklahoma (10-3) 1276 15 1

5. Oregon (12-2) 1258 4 0

6. Georgia (10-4) 1061 20 0

7. Florida State (9-4) 1055 23 1

8. Michigan (11-2) 1023 9 0

9. South Carolina (11-2) 981 8 0

10. Arkansas (11-2) 948 5 0

11. West Virginia (10-3) 833 18 0

12. Wisconsin (11-3) 743 11 0

13. Michigan State (11-3) 717 10 0

14. Clemson (10-4) 598 22 0

15. Texas (8-5) 549 not ranked 0

16. Nebraska (9-4) 501 24 0

17. TCU (11-2) 499 13 0

18. Stanford (11-2) 497 7 0

19. Oklahoma State (12-1) 476 3 0

20. Virginia Tech (11-3) 461 17 0

21. Kansas State (10-3) 398 16 0

22. Boise State (12-1) 271 6 0

23. Florida (7-6) 250 not ranked 0

24. Notre Dame (8-5) 166 not ranked 0

25. Auburn (8-5) 66 not ranked 0

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