LSU tops USA Today coaches poll over 'Bama

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Despite its lopsided loss to Alabama in last January's BCS national title game, LSU will open the 2012 season ranked No. 1 in at least one poll.

LSU sits atop the USA Today Top 25 coaches poll released on Thursday, with Alabama second and Southern California third.

LSU received 18 first-place votes, slightly fewer that the 20 first-place votes for the Crimson Tide and 19 first-place votes for the Trojans. Still, the Tigers narrowly had the most overall points in the poll, which awards 25 points for a No. 1 vote down to one point for 25th.

Oklahoma and Oregon round out the top five, followed by Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas.

LSU and Alabama, rivals in the Southeastern Conference, meet Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge.

1. LSU (18) 13-1 1,403
2. Alabama (20) 12-1 1,399

3. Southern California (19) 10-2 1,388
4. Oklahoma 10-3 1,276
5. Oregon 12-2 1,258
6. Georgia 10-4 1,061
7. Florida State 9-4 1,055
8. Michigan 11-2 1,023
9. South Carolina 11-2 981
10. Arkansas 11-2 948

11. West Virginia 10-3 833
12. Wisconsin 11-3 743
13. Michigan State 11-3 717
14. Clemson 10-4 598
15. Texas 8-5 549
16. Nebraska 9-4 501
17. TCU 11-2 499
18. Stanford 11-2 497
19. Oklahoma State 12-1 476
20. Virginia Tech 11-3 461
21. Kansas State 10-3 398
22. Boise State 12-1 271
23. Florida 7-6 250
24. Notre Dame 8-5 166
25. Auburn 8-5 66

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.


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