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LSU, Alabama ranked No. 1 and No. 2

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(RNN) - The winner and loser of last year's BCS National Championship Game are ranked first and second in the 2012 USA TODAY Sports college football Coaches' Poll – in reverse order.

LSU, which beat Alabama in the regular season but lost 21-0 in the national title rematch, will start the year as the top-ranked team. Alabama is second. Three other Top 10 teams are also from the Southeastern Conference, which has produced the last six national champions.

LSU got 18 first-place votes, two fewer than Alabama, but edged into the top spot with 1,403 points to 1,399 for Bama in the poll selected by the board of 59 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools.

Third-place Southern California received 19 first-place votes and Oklahoma is fourth, followed by Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas. Oklahoma and Florida State each got one first-place vote.

LSU returns six starters on offense and six on a nationally ranked defense, including 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, defensive back and return specialist Tyrann Mathieu. The Tigers won the SEC title last year and finished 13-1.

2012 USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll Top 25

Rank
Team (First place votes) Record Points
1 LSU (18) 13-1 1,403
2 Alabama (20) 12-1 1,399
3 Southern California (19) 10-2 1,388
4 Oklahoma (1) 10-3 1,276
5 Oregon   12-2 1,258
6 Georgia   10-4 1.061
7 Florida State (1) 9-4 1,055
8 Michigan   11-2 1,025
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   11-2 499
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

 




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