The quote/unquote ever important preseason coaches poll was released Monday and Brian Kelly’s squad is on the outside looking in of the initial top 25.
For the first time since 2000, LSU will open the season unranked. The Tigers are in the others receiving votes group, with 143 points. In the others group LSU is behind Iowa, Penn State Tennessee, and BYU. Florida State, LSU’s season opening opponent, received a total of one vote.
It’s not terribly surprising to see LSU unranked in the preseason poll. Frankly they don’t really deserve benefit of the doubt. LSU’s gone 11-12 over the past two years and has questions at quarterback, offensive line, secondary, and special teams and that’s on top of welcoming in an entirely new coaching staff aside from Brad Davis.
The last time LSU opened a football season unranked was year one of the Nick Saban era. One year later the Tigers were SEC champions and beat Illinois in the Sugar Bowl, and two years after that they were national champions. So if Brian Kelly wants to repeat that bit of history I wouldn’t complain in the slightest.
Speaking of Saban, his current team is the overwhelming preseason No. 1 team in the country. The Tide took 54 of a possible 66 first place votes. Ohio State is No. 2 and got five first place votes; defending champs Georgia is No. 3 and got six first place votes; and Texas, despite going 5-7 in 2021 and losing six straight games—highlighted by a home loss to Kansas—got a first place vote but will open the year ranked 18th.
The SEC has six teams ranked in the top 25, with three in the top 10. In addition to Bama and Georgia perpetual SEC West division runners up Texas A&M opens at No. 7. After those three you have to go into the 20s to find the other SEC teams with Kentucky, Arkansas, and Ole Miss sitting 21/23/24 respectively.
The preseason coaches poll is as follows
- Alabama (54)
- Ohio State (5)
- Georgia (6)
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- NC State
- Michigan State
- Texas (1)
- Wake Forest
- Ole Miss