Defending National Champion LSU became the second team to fall out of the AP Top 25 Poll. The Tigers are the first defending champion to fall out of the AP Top 25 Poll since Auburn in 2011. They had been ranked in 43 straight polls, dating to Nov. 5, 2017, the seventh-longest active streak in the nation.

Ed Orgeron AP Top 25 Poll
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron blamed poor defense for the team’s loss and subsequent fall out of the AP Top 25 Poll. (Image: AP)

The Tigers opened the preseason ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll, even garnering one of the 62 first-place votes. They opened their season against Mississippi State, and were upset by the Bulldogs at home, 44-34. That dropped the Tigers to No. 20 in Week 5. Last week, they soundly defeated Vanderbilt 41-7, putting them at No. 17.

LSU lost its second game on Saturday when they fell to unranked — and previously winless — Missouri, 45-41. That got them bounced out of the AP Top 25 Poll. It’s the first time since the preseason AP Top 25 Poll’s creation in 1950 that a national champion lost two of its first three games to an unranked opponent.

Tigers Head coach Ed Orgeron said it’s the defense that needs to improve, telling reporters on Monday that’s where the focus will be when they face No. 10 Florida this Saturday.

“I still think we can have an outstanding defense,” Orgeron said. “I know there’s not a lot of great defense being played in the SEC right now. That’s no excuse. I don’t want to hear that. I want to play great defense at LSU, and we’re going to play great defense one way or another.”

LSU Facing Reeling Florida

LSU will travel to Gainsville on Saturday to face No. 10 Florida, who dropped six spots after losing to then No. 21 Texas A&M. The Gators are also struggling on defense, and surrendered 41 points in the loss.

Mullen who said the crowd at Texas A&M looked like 50,000, wants a packed stadium when LSU visits on Saturday. The Gators are 13-point favorites.

“I’ve been preparing for LSU, but, I mean I’ll be honest, I think if you look at what we’ve been able to do, the safety precautions we have that our players have followed, our coaches follow, our staff follows, I think we’re a model of safety of what we’ve been doing during this time period,” Mullen said. “So, I’m really proud of how we’ve handled everything and how safe we’ve been with everything we’re doing and all the precautions we’ve had in place during this time.”

BYU Avoids Scare, Moves Up

BYU was undefeated heading into its game against the lowly University of Texas at San Antonio on Saturday. The No. 15 Cougars were 34.5-point favorites and escaped with a 27-20 victory.

Despite the close call, BYU moved up a spot to No. 14. It’s the highest the Cougars have been ranked since 2009. That year, BYU got as high as No. 7 before finishing the season at No. 12.

Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake said the team has to play better if they are going to stay in the AP Top 25 Poll.

“We’ll learn from this and get better,” Sitake said “We know we can play a lot cleaner.”