Winners of the past six BcS titles, the coaches — or their assistants — are expecting nothing less than a seventh straight crystal hoisting from the conference.
In the preseason USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll, a total of seven — out of 14 — SEC teams were represented, including a whopping five of the Top 10. Heading that list is 2011 BcS title game runner-up LSU, which received 18 of the 59 first-place votes.
Oddly enough, there were two other teams that tallied first-place votes and actually garnered more than the Tigers. Alabama, which defeated LSU for the 2011 title, got 20 first-place votes, while USC, in its first season coming off a two-year bowl ban, received 19. The Tide and Trojans are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Georgia (No. 6), South Carolina (No. 9) and Arkansas (No. 10) are the other three SEC schools in the Top 10, while No. 23 Florida and No. 25 Auburn were the sixth and seventh SEC schools represented on the list.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Oklahoma (No. 4), Oregon (No. 5), Florida State (No. 7) and Michigan No. 8). The Sooners and Seminoles each received one first-place vote apiece from the coaches.
Three teams that finished inside the Top 10 in the final coaches’ poll last season will start this year well outside that grouping: No. 18 Stanford (No. 7 last poll), No. 19 Oklahoma State (No. 3) and No. 22 Boise State (No. 8). A total of four teams that weren’t ranked at season’s end were included in the initial Top 25, with the highest being No. 15 Texas. others in that group included Florida, No. 24 Notre Dame and Auburn. USC was ineligible for the coaches’ poll due to NCAA sanctions, so they weren’t in the final poll as well.
Conference-wise, the Big 12 was right behind the SEC with six schools — including new members West Virginia (No. 11) and TCU (No. 17) — followed by the Big Ten with four and the ACC and Pac-12 with three each.
Below is the complete list of rankings, and you can let your voice be heard in our poll right HERE.