In the world of college sports, back-to-school time truly only means one thing… college football season is on its way. USA Today has released their annual coaches poll for the top 25 teams for preseason college football rankings.
In the Southeastern Conference, seven of their teams made the top 25, and five of those are in the top ten. In the last six consecutive years, the Southeastern Conference has managed to take every BCS title. Leading the preseason rankings in the number spot is last year’s SEC champion LSU, followed by Alabama who beat out LSU for the BCS title.
This year is the first time since USA Today Sports started their coaches poll in 1991 that the team seated in the number one spot had fewer votes than the team placed in the second spot. Another record in this year’s preseason rankings is the tightest spread of 15 points among the top three teams in the poll.
The number one team, LSU, will be returning 15 of last year’s starters as well as 41 team members who lettered last year. Coach Les Miles was quoted as saying the team is fortunate to be in a place that allows them to compete for such a spot. “We recognize that it is more of a reflection of a body of work and understand that right now, it’s a spot that we hold and not one that has been earned. It’s a position that we enjoy. Now we have to go out and play in order to keep it,” he said.
There are six teams in the top 25 rankings that come from the Big 12 Conference, including the conference’s newcomers. Among those are last year’s preseason number one Oklahoma and newcomers TCU and West Virginia. After losing two key players to the NFL draft, Oklahoma State University has dropped to number 19, even after finishing last year’s season as the number three team in the country.
As for the Big East teams, none have made it to the preseason 25 for the second consecutive season. Though West Virginia is ranked this year as number 11, they are no longer a part of the Big East conference after moving to the Big 12 this year.
Compared to last year’s top ten teams, five of those have returned to this year’s top ten list again.
USA Today’s Preseason Poll:
The games start Labor Day weekend. Which team will you be rooting for?
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