The Tigers start at No. 12 in the 2013 AP media poll released Saturday, up two spots from where LSU finished last season after going 10-3 with a loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
LSU is No. 13 in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll. The main difference from the Tigers’ perspective in the two polls is Notre Dame is No. 11 in the coaches’ poll and No. 14 in the AP poll.
It is LSU’s 13th straight preseason AP ranking but the lowest since 2010 when the Tigers started at No. 21. LSU finished 11-2 that season and No. 5 in the final poll.
The Tigers have been ranked in the final AP poll 11 times since 2000, the only exceptions 2002 and 2008.
LSU opened at No. 3 in last year’s AP preseason poll after starting at No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, the Tigers’ first preseason No. 1 ranking since 1959.
LSU totaled 802 points from 60 AP poll ballots. No. 11 Florida State has 845 points, while No. 13 Oklahoma State has 755.
Alabama, winning of two straight BCS national championships, is No. 1 in both polls. The Crimson Tide, which hosts LSU on Nov. 9, is one of four top-10 teams on the Tigers’ schedule.
LSU also faces No. 5 Georgia, No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 10 Florida.
The Tigers open the season Aug. 31 against TCU in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. The Horned Frogs are No. 20 in the AP poll, the only other ranked team on the Tigers’ schedule.
Alabama got 58 of 60 AP first-place votes. No. 2 Ohio State and Georgia had one each.
LSU plays at Georgia on Sept. 28 and hosts Florida on Oct. 12 and Texas A&M on Nov. 23. The Tigers are replacing seven defensive starters and have only recently reinstated starting running back Jeremy Hill after offseason legal issues.