FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas hasn’t been shy about its lofty expectations for 2012.

Now the Razorbacks know what other coaches think.

Arkansas ranked No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches preseason poll, which was released Thursday morning. It is the third straight season the Razorbacks have been ranked in the preseason poll, but is the highest during that timespan after starting the season No. 14 in 2011 and No. 19 in 2010.

Arkansas was one of seven Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the preseason coaches poll, joining LSU (No. 1), Alabama (No. 2), Georgia (No. 6), South Carolina (No. 9), Florida (No. 23) and Auburn (No. 25).

Half of the top 10 in the preseason poll is comprised of SEC schools. The rest of the top team included Southern California (No. 3), Oklahoma (No. 4), Oregon (No. 5), Florida State (No. 7) and Michigan (No. 8).

The Razorbacks finished the 2011 season ranked No. 5 in the coaches poll after going 11-2 under former coach Bobby Petrino. Arkansas underwent a coaching change during a tumultuous offseason, but new coach John L. Smith said the expectations haven’t changed for a group led by veterans like quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis.

“Our goal is to be a national championship football team and that’s what we want to get done,” Smith said at SEC Media Days last month. “I know our players relish that as well as our fans and our coaches. That’s our goal for this year.”

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau