College Football 2012: Projecting Next Season's Top 25

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College Football 2012:  Projecting Next Season's Top 25
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Does the return of QB Matt Barkley mean USC has the best chance to unseat an SEC school as national champions in 2012?

Before Alabama and LSU duel for the national title on Monday night to close the book on the 2011 season, nearly every other program is beginning preparations for the upcoming fall. 

With the surprising return of another high profile quarterback (USC’s Matt Barkley) and coach (Urban Meyer at Ohio State), there’s plenty of intriguing storylines to watch unfold in the offseason. 

Several factors can change the course of a team from now until September (early NFL draft entries, recruiting, coaching changes, injuries, etc.), but in a sport that is becoming a year-round affair, it is never too early to take a peek into the future. 

The SEC is assured of winning its sixth consecutive national championship after round two between the Tide and Tigers is completed, but who will emerge as the main candidate to extend the streak to seven? 

Here’s an early glimpse at projecting next season’s top 25.  


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