Aug. 3, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford, coming off back-to-back BCS bowl appearances, is ranked 18th in the first USA Today Sports Coaches poll.
LSU holds down the top spot with 1403 points and 18 first place votes, followed by Alabama (1,399; 20 first place votes), USC (1,388; 19 first place votes), Oklahoma (1,276) and Oregon (1,258).
Georgia (1,061), Florida State (1,055), Michigan (1,023), South Carolina (981) and Arkansas (948) round out the top-10.
Stanford will open training camp on Sunday with 48 letterwinners returning from last year's Fiesta Bowl team, including 28 on offense, 27 on defense and three specialists. Included in the group are 15 players who started seven or more games last season, including six on the offensive side of the ball, seven on defense and two specialists.
Stanford, which finished the 2011 season with an 11-2 overall record and an 8-1 (2nd; North Division) mark in Pac-12 Conference play, has compiled a 31-8 (.795) record over the last three seasons, finishing 8-5 in 2009, 12-1 in 2010 and 11-2 last season. The Cardinal's 31 wins rank second only to Oregon's 34 among Pac-12 teams during this stretch while its .795 winning percentage ranks eighth among all FBS teams.
Stanford is one of just six teams in the nation that has compiled 23 or more wins over the last two seasons, along with Boise State (24), TCU (24), Oregon (24), LSU (24) and Oklahoma State (23). The Cardinal's .885 winning percentage over the last two seasons is tied for fifth-best among FBS teams during that stretch.
The Cardinal kicks off the 2012 season on Friday night, August 31, as it hosts San Jose State at Stanford Stadium (7:00 p.m.; Pac-12 Networks).
Tickets for the 2012 season are available for purchase on line at GoStanford.com, at the Stanford Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.
USA Today Sports Coaches Poll
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
11. West Virginia
13. Michigan State
20. Virginia Tech
21. Kansas State
22. Boise State
24. Notre Dame