McLean, VA (Sports Network) - LSU and Alabama will start the 2012 college
football season as the top two teams in the preseason USA Today coaches' poll.
The two were also the top teams in the final poll of 2011, but in reverse
order after Alabama avenged its only loss of the regular season and beat LSU
in the BCS National Championship Game.
LSU received 18 first-place votes and a total of 1,403 points from a
nationwide panel of coaches. Alabama had two more No. 1 votes, but four fewer
points with 1,399.
Southern California gave the SEC teams a run for the top spot with 19 first-
place votes and 1,388 points to finish a close third. Oklahoma, with one top
tally, and 1,276 points is fourth, followed by Oregon, Georgia, Florida State,
Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas. Florida State also picked up a No. 1
Half of the top 10 is comprised of teams from the SEC, the all-powerful league
that has won each of the last six BCS titles.
West Virginia, which has moved from the Big East to the Big 12, starts the
second 10 and is followed by Wisconsin, Michigan State, Clemson, Texas,
Nebraska, TCU, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech. TCU is also new to
the Big 12 this year.
Kansas State, Boise State, Florida, Notre Dame and Auburn are the last five
A total of seven SEC teams are ranked in the expanded league that now has 14
teams with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M. The Big 12, which replaced
Missouri and Texas A&M with West Virginia and TCU, has six of its 10 teams in
the poll. The Big Ten has four ranked teams, while both the Pac-12 and ACC
There are no Big East teams ranked, although Boise State will join the league
for football next year.
The Sports Network