Preseason College Football Rankings 2012: Top 25 Teams with Most Pressure
The second stud QB Matt Barkley announced he would return to USC for this coming season, the expectations and pressure surrounding USC went through the roof. This team is going to be in the spotlight, to sink or swim, from the start of the season.
They certainly aren't the only team with a boatload of pressure, just the most glaring. There are countless programs that will have to deal with big-time pressure next season.
Here are the three most notable.
The Trojans finished 15th in the nation in passing yards last year, and the center of that passing offense, Matt Barkley, is back and ready to improve on those numbers.
This is a USC team that ended last year with two losses, and they finished the year strong. All of this has fans dreaming of another trip to the BCS title game, and they should. This team is loaded.
They do have some questions, especially along the defensive line after the torn pectoral to senior Devon Kennard leaves them frighteningly thin.
Fans aren't going to want excuses about this year, though. They are expecting a BCS game, and that is a lot for any team to deal with.
The Sooners limped to the finish line in a season that began with national championship hopes. Oklahoma won their first six games and looked like they could compete with any team in the nation.
They then lost three of their next six to close out the regular season. It was a shocking fall for a team that looked nearly invincible.
That finish did nothing to ease the pressure on this upcoming season. In fact, when QB Landry Jones announced he would return, the pressure increased.
This program needs to prove that the finish of last season was a result of a fluke and injuries and not an emerging trend.
Stanford has been consistently excellent the last few seasons, but that is what happens when you have one of the greatest QBs in college football at the helm.
Now with Andrew Luck finally in the NFL (seriously, it seemed like that dude was at Stanford for a decade), it is time for the Cardinal to prove this program is bigger than a QB.
There are plenty of reasons pointing to the fact that they are ready to succeed without Luck. After all, they actually finished last year ranked higher in rushing (18th) than passing (22nd).
This program has built a strong tradition of quality offensive linemen, and they now have to prove they can keep that smash-mouth style going without an other-world signal-caller to distract the defense.
|Langford's Preseason Top 25|
|6. Florida State|
|8. South Carolina|
|10. Michigan State|
|11. West Virginia|
|12. Kansas State|
|17. Ohio State|
|20. Oklahoma State|
|21. Virginia Tech|
|22. Boise State|
|25. Notre Dame|
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