Breaking Down USC Trojans' Ranking in the AP Preseason College Football Poll

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Breaking Down USC Trojans' Ranking in the AP Preseason College Football Poll
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Associated Press finally released its college football poll and to some people's surprise, the USC Trojans are ranked No. 1.

The Trojans, who return 18 starters to a team that finished 10-2 last year, received 25 first-place votes to edge out No. 2 Alabama.

For those who follow college football, preseason rankings don't mean a lot unless the team you follow is buried down the list, thus forcing a more difficult climb to attain BCS bowl consideration.

Because of this, many feel that no poll should be released until four or five games into the season.

Nonetheless, preseason polls exist, and in the case of the AP, it does offer a glimpse into the regard that national writers have for teams entering the 2012 season.

This slideshow will look at the AP poll and discuss the relative merits of both the service itself and how they went about determining that USC is the best team entering into what should be a very exciting season.

Is this poll a far-too-early look at the major programs in college football, and is it unfair for some teams that are placed too low?

Perhaps, but it is still a couple of weeks until the start of the season and we do need things to occupy our time...

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