College Football Preseason Rankings 2012: Teams Vying for Top Spot in AP Poll

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIAugust 3, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Dee Milliner #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after defeating the Louisiana State University Tigers to win the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Associated Press comes out with their initial Top 25 poll in the coming weeks and it looks like there are multiple teams vying for the No. 1 spot. The Coaches Poll, released this week, will give us a good idea of who will be vying for the top spot in the AP poll.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is the defending national champion and they are looking to have the same core that led them to that title for 2012. The Crimson Tide is going to get the most first place votes because their key guy, Nick Saban, is still running the show. 

Alabama has been getting great recruiting classes to build this national championship caliber team, and Saban should be able to get the nod for Alabama as the top team starting out.

Louisiana State Tigers

The Tigers got dominated by the Crimson Tide in the national championship game last year, and they lost quite a bit of talent to the draft, much like the Tide. The two teams are on similar footing though with great coaches and top-notch talent. 

Les Miles is the key here. It all depends on how the press views the coaching difference between Miles and Saban and who they think would win between the two teams if they faced off today.

Southern California Trojans

The Trojans have a ton of talent and are led by senior quarterback Matt Barkley. They also have a great group of defensive talent that will be able to take on anyone this year. Now that the postseason and poll bans have been lifted off the Trojans, they could return to prominence.

Lane Kiffin is a great coach and has an amazing staff behind him. He's a master recruiter and will keep the cupboards stocked long-term, and pollsters tend to like a redemption story like both Kiffin's and Southern Cal's.

So while the coaches poll is putting emphasis on Alabama and Louisiana State, Southern California is the team that could pull the upset in the AP poll when all is said and done. However, on the initial poll, Alabama looks like the top team for the AP.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and runs the NFL Draft Website and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.