Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 8/2/12

LSU may have lost last year's war with Alabama for No. 1, but college football’s coaches - or at least their SIDs - are making the Tigers the favorites for the national championship this year over the Crimson Tide.

The Bayou Bengals topped a preseason USA Today Sports Coaches Poll resplendent with SEC teams. A total of seven SEC names graced the top 25. The Crimson Tide edged out USC, which came in at No. 3.

*The “coaches” clearly deferred to the SEC’s recent string of national dominance, placing five of the league's teams in the top 10 alone. Coming off a strong year in which one of its squads barely missed the cut for the BCS title game, the Big 12 had the second-most entrants with six. That includes new Big 12 additions West Virginia at 11 and TCU at 17.

*The coac... - hell, let’s just say “voters.” The voters put their stamp of approval on Brady Hoke’s resurrection job at Michigan. Following a year that saw the Wolverines finish 11-2 with a Sugar Bow win, they will start the season ranked 8th.

*Life is just a little different for perennial darling Boise State after being decimated by graduation. The voters gave coach Chris Petersen the benefit of the doubt, though, ranking the Broncos 22nd.

Aside from Alabama-Michigan, no game in the opening week will have more impact on the national landscape than the Boise’s showdown with No. 13 Michigan State.

*Jimbo Fisher - or, perhaps, Phil Steele - has apparently made a believer out of the pollsters. Despite a disappointing 2011 season, Florida State checked in at 7 and looks to be in prime position to move up into the top two by season’s end if the Seminoles can keep it together.

So, what do you think? Where did the SIDs blow it?

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