The LSU Tigers were voted No. 1 in the opening USA Today coaches' poll. With the 2012 season set to begin in less than a month, the Tigers will be looking to get back to the BCS Championship Game after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the title game earlier this year. With the Tide ranked second in the coaches' poll and receiving more first-place votes than the Tigers, the two teams could be back on track to battle for the top spot once again.
As an LSU fan, my team's last game obviously hurt. The Tigers entered the title contest at 13-0, defeating Alabama on the road and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Few people expected the 21-0 embarrassment that took place, particularly Tigers fans, as the Tide claimed the National Championship.
As members of the SEC West, LSU and Alabama not only battle each other every year, but they also both face difficult schedules that include Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, newcomers Texas A&M and SEC East teams. The fact that the two squads made it through such a rigorous schedule and managed to meet in the title game is amazing. Expecting them to repeat that feat may be a bit unrealistic.
Still, this is essentially what the coaches are predicting. Personally, I would love to see this happen and would enjoy seeing my team come out on top, avenging the crushing defeat that happened on January 9 in New Orleans.
Of course, there is a lot of football for the Tigers to play first, beginning on September 1 against North Texas. LSU will play tough road games at Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Arkansas this season. The good news, though, is that Alabama will have to travel to Baton Rouge immediately following an LSU bye week, giving the Tigers an extra week to prepare for the reigning National Champions.
The reigning SEC Champions, however, are the Tigers, who will certainly have a lot to say about the outcome of the 2012 SEC schedule. I am looking forward to the season and would love to see my team hold the top spot in the coaches' poll throughout the year.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.