LSU plays its way to top of AP poll

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2005

When LSU finally plays a meaningful home game this week, the Tigers will do it as the No. 1 team in the country.

The Tigers spent the month of September away from Tiger Stadium except for a tune-up victory over outmanned Northwestern State, and road victories over three ranked opponents apparently made LSU’s body of work for the young season too enticing to ignore.

The Tigers, coming off of a 47-21 victory over West Virginia Saturday night, on Sunday replaced Oklahoma atop The Associated Press poll, even though the Sooners are still unbeaten after rallying to beat Missouri 38-28.

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The Sooners remain No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, although there the Tigers moved ahead of Alabama into the No. 2 spot, even though the Crimson Tide had an impressive 38-14 victory over Arkansas.

LSU head coach Les Miles wasn’t available for comment Sunday, but seemed lukewarm to the notion when asked about the possibility following Saturday night’s victory.

“I think we’d rather sneak up on No. 1 later in the year,” he said.

It wasn’t really that close in the AP poll.

LSU got 42 of the 60 first place votes, with Oklahoma receiving 12, Alabama five and No. 4 Boise State one.

The Tigers had 1,471 points to Oklahoma’s 1,422. Alabama was just nine points behind the Sooners with 1,413.

LSU, which started the season ranked No. 4, made its first big splash with a victory over then No. 3 Oregon in Arlington, Texas. The Tigers went to Mississippi State last week for a 19-6 victory over then No. 25 Mississippi State.

It’s the first time LSU has been ranked No. 1 since ending the 2007 season as the BCS national champions. The Tigers twice held the poll’s top spot during that regular season, but lost it both times after being upset, first by Kentucky and later by Arkansas.

The 4-0 Tigers will try to hold on to it this week with their first conference game at home — against Kentucky.

In the coaches poll, sponsored by USA Today, Oklahoma got 32 of the 59 first place votes, with LSU getting 20 and Alabama the other seven.