Last season’s 12-2 record and the return of 17 starters, makes the Missouri Football an attractive pick in the  initial USA Today Top 25 Coaches’ Poll of the 2008 season as the Tigers grab the No. 7 spot.

The preseason ranking is the highest in school history for the Tigers, beating their No. 10 preseason mark in the Associated Press poll at the start of the 1969 campaign.

The Tigers had 1,143 total points in the rankings, just 20 behind 2007 National Champion LSU, who is sixth. Georgia is this year’s preseason No. 1, followed by Southern California, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Florida rounds out the Top Five, while Texas is ranked No. 10, giving the Big 12 Conference three preseason Top 10 clubs. Missouri travels to Texas on Oct. 18.

Other Missouri opponents in the Top 25 of the Coaches’ Poll include Kansas at No. 13 and the season-opening opponent, Illinois, at No. 19.