LSU Sports Roundup
By Cody WorshamPosted Aug 8, 2012
Coaches select LSU as preseason No. 1
Come Nov. 3, the score will be settled on the field.
For now, however, it’s LSU who has bested Alabama before a down of football has been played in the 2012 season.
For the first time since 1959, LSU will open a football season ranked No. 1 in the nation as the Tigers have been placed atop the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the organization announced last week.
LSU, who returns 15 starters from last year’s team that captured the Southeastern Conference title and went 13-0 during the regular season before falling in the BCS National Championship Game to Alabama, spent 11 straight weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation a year ago. That loss to Alabama broke the 11-week tenure at the top of college football.
LSU Head Coach Les Miles remembers that loss, and it’s probably why he is not focused on the ranking.
“It’s a compliment to our program and the body of work that has been accomplished here,” Miles said. “We understand that it’s a spot that we hold right now and nothing more. We recognize that we have to earn our spot and there are a lot of games to be played before anything is determined.”
The last time LSU opened a season ranked No. 1 came in 1959 when the Associated Press tagged the Tigers as the top-ranked squad. LSU responded by beating Rice, 26-3, to open the year. LSU remained No. 1 for eight straight games before falling to Tennessee, 14-13, in week eight. LSU went to the Sugar Bowl that year in what was Billy Cannon’s Heisman Trophy-winning season.
With the No. 1 preseason ranking, the Tigers will run their streak of consecutive games played as the nation’s top-ranked team when LSU opens the 2012 season against North Texas in Tiger Stadium. The 11 consecutive games as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team is just two shy of tying the LSU mark of 13 set in 1958-59. LSU’s schedule features a total of five Top 25 teams, including three in the Top 10. Alabama is No. 2 in the poll with South Carolina at No. 9 and Arkansas at No. 10. Florida at No. 23 and Auburn at No. 25 round out the remainder of LSU opponents in the preseason poll. Georgia is the only other SEC team in the poll as the Bulldogs are ranked No. 6.
LSU Soccer reports for fall camp
As the LSU Soccer team prepares to kick off the 2012-13 athletic season with a trip to Norman, Okla. to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Aug. 20, Head Coach Brian Lee and his coaching staff welcomed 23 student-athletes to campus last week to open fall camp.
Training camp began Friday morning at the LSU Soccer Stadium as the Tigers are just under two weeks away from their season opener at Oklahoma as a part of Monday Night Fútbol on Aug. 20.
The Tigers will then open their home slate on Friday, Aug. 24, with a contest against the Rice Owls slated to kick off at 7 p.m. at the LSU Soccer Stadium in Baton Rouge.
LSU’s 2012 home schedule features eight matches against teams that earned an NCAA Tournament berth a year ago, including Stephen F. Austin (Aug. 31), Florida International (Sept. 7), Memphis (Sept. 10), Texas A&M (Sept. 14), Alabama (Sept. 16), Auburn (Sept. 21), Kentucky (Sept. 23), and Florida (Oct. 5).
“We’re ready to continue our preparation for the fall season. Oklahoma will provide us with a very strong challenge right out of the gate,” Lee said. “Our players have done an outstanding job during the offseason in preparing themselves for this day. We’re excited about getting back on the field for the first time in this preseason camp to continue preparing for our opener in just a couple of weeks.”