Preseason College Football Rankings 2012: Struggling Powerhouses That Will Rise
The college football season is on the horizon, and the time is now to begin debating preseason Top 25 rankings.
Although the usual championship-contending powerhouses are sure to sit atop the list, there are a handful of prestigious programs that have struggled recently that are set to rise in 2012.
Check it out.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes went 6-7 last season and underachieved to say the least. That will change in 2012, though, now that Urban Meyer is patrolling the sidelines in Columbus. Ohio State lost its last four games of 2011 after starting off strong. Meyer will bring consistency to a program that has thrived off it over the years.
With quarterback Braxton Miller returning to lead Meyer's new offense, the Buckeyes will have an added wrinkle to present to their Big Ten competition in 2012. The recent sanctions handed down to Leaders Division rival Penn State will only make life easier for Ohio State next season, as their only true competition in the division is Wisconsin.
Which college football powerhouse will have the best season in 2012?
Texas has struggled to return to prominence ever since the departure of quarterback Colt McCoy. The Longhorns finished 8-5 in 2011, winning just four of nine games in the Big 12. This season, though, Texas will be back in contention in the Big 12, and they will see the experience from last season pay off for some of its younger players.
Texas always recruits well and the prestige of their football program will always keep them among the BCS contenders. Mack Brown and the Longhorns aren't long removed from a national championship, so anyone counting them out in 2012 should definitely reconsider. The Longhorns will start the new season ranked No. 15 in the coaches poll.
Will Muschamp's first season in Gainesville started out promising after the Gators won their first four games of 2011, but it took a ugly turn as they dropped their next four and ultimately finished the season 7-6 thanks to a win over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. Florida showed glimpses of what they have been over the past few years as a national championship-winning program. Junior running back Trey Burton is only getting better and will provide Florida with a multifaceted threat on offense in 2012.
The Gators will do much better in conference play this coming season as Muschamp brings in more and more of his recruits and starts to infuse his personality into the program. Although Alabama and LSU remain the top dogs in the SEC, Florida will begin the season ranked No. 23, and that bodes well considering that they will have plenty of marquee matchups to boost their stock as the season wears on.
My Latest 2012 College Football Preseason Top 25:
|No. 8||South Carolina|
|No. 9||Florida State|
|No. 11||Michigan State|
|No. 15||Ohio State|
|No. 17||Kansas State|
|No. 20||Virginia Tech|
|No. 21||West Virginia|
|No. 23||Notre Dame|
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