The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll was released Sunday, with defending champion Alabama the unsurprising pick at No. 1. Interestingly, LSU was among seven teams to receive at least one first-place vote, and the only other SEC team besides Alabama with that honor.
Omaha World-Herald writer Sam McKewon was the voter, and he explained why he gave the Tigers the nod in a blog post.
LSU gets my nod for No. 1 based on the overall strength of its team, having the best player in college football (Leonard Fournette), a returning starting quarterback, the hiring of Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator and necessity. LSU’s coach, Les Miles, has a fervent urgency to win. Should the Tigers win at Lambeau Field in week 1 over Wisconsin (a game I think is a real coin flip) the Tigers could be on their way.
McKewon said his rankings are based on four criteria: quarterback play, overall talent, returning and potential defensive playmakers and coaching staff.