899153
Watch footage from the first practice of the 2012 season.
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Back on Top: Football Ranked No. 1 by Coaches
Text smallerText larger
Published: August 02, 2012, 11:00 AM (CT)
Updated: August 02, 2012, 09:56 PM (CT)
by Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette), Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID

BATON ROUGE - 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.

LSU Football in the Coaches' Preseason Poll (since 1991)

Season - Rank
2012 - 1
2011 - 4
2010 - 16
2009 - 9
2008 - 6
2007 - 2
2006 - 9
2005 - 6
2004 - 3
2003 - 15
2002 - 13
2001 - 17
1998 - 8
1997 - 11
1996 - 20

USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches' Poll

Rank School (2011 record) Points Previous Rank First-Place Votes
1. LSU (13-1) 1403 2 18
2. Alabama (12-1) 1399 1 20
3. Southern California (10-2) 1388 NR 19
4. Oklahoma (10-3) 1276 15 1
5. Oregon (12-2) 1258 4
6. Georgia (10-4) 1061 20
7. Florida State (9-4) 1055 23 1
8. Michigan (11-2) 1023 9
9. South Carolina (11-2) 981 8
10. Arkansas (11-2) 948 5
11. West Virginia (10-3) 833 18
12. Wisconsin (11-3) 743 11
13. Michigan State (11-3) 717 10
14. Clemson (10-4) 598 22
15. Texas (8-5) 549 NR
16. Nebraska (9-4) 501 24
17. TCU (11-2) 499 13
18. Stanford (11-2) 497 7
19. Oklahoma State (12-1) 476 3
20. Virginia Tech (11-3) 461 17
21. Kansas State (10-3) 398 16
22. Boise State (12-1) 271 6
23. Florida (7-6) 250 NR
24. Notre Dame (8-5) 166 NR
25. Auburn (8-5) 66 NR

Others receiving votes (with 2011 records): Washington (7-6) 64; Louisville (7-6) 46; Georgia Tech (8-5) 35; Cincinnati (10-3) 32; Texas A&M (7-6) 28; Baylor (10-3) 23; Utah (8-5) 22; Mississippi State (7-6) 21; South Florida (5-7) 12; N.C. State (8-5) 11; BYU (10-3) 10; Louisiana Tech (8-5) 10; Virginia (8-5) 9; Houston (13-1) 7; Southern Mississippi (12-2) 6; Central Florida (5-7) 5; Rutgers (9-4) 5; Florida International (8-5) 3; Missouri (8-5) 3; Tennessee (5-7) 3; Northern Illinois (11-3) 2; Texas Tech (5-7) 1.

The USA TODAY Board of Coaches is made up of 59 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2012 season: David Bailiff, Rice; Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech; Tim Beckman, Illinois; Bret Bielema, Wisconsin; Terry Bowden, Akron; Art Briles, Baylor; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Matt Campbell, Toledo; Gene Chizik, Auburn; Dave Christensen, Wyoming; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State; Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois; Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; Kyle Flood, Rutgers; James Franklin, Vanderbilt; Al Golden, Miami (Fla.); Jim Grobe, Wake Forest; Darrell Hazell, Kent State; Brady Hoke, Michigan; Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia; Skip Holtz, South Florida; Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette; Curtis Johnson, Tulane; Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss; Butch Jones, Cincinnati; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Lane Kiffin, Southern California; Mike Leach, Washington State; Pete Lembo, Ball State; Tony Levine, Houston; Mike London, Virginia; Rocky Long, San Diego State; Dan McCarney, North Texas; Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State; Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina; Gus Malzahn, Arkansas State; Bronco Mendenhall, BYU; Les Miles, LSU; George O'Leary, Central Florida; Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut; Bo Pelini, Nebraska; Chris Petersen, Boise State; Joker Phillips, Kentucky; Paul Rhoads, Iowa State; Mark Richt, Georgia; Mike Riley, Oregon State; Rich Rodriguez, Arizona; Nick Saban, Alabama; Steve Sarkisian, Washington; Frank Solich, Ohio; Steve Spurrier, South Carolina; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Jeff Tedford, California; Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech; Kevin Wilson, Indiana.

 

Visit Baton Rouge
Flores MBA Program
Kraft - JELL-O Dessert Mold Kit
ABC Insurance

Kean Miller
ICA Digital Magazine