Preseason College Football Rankings 2012: SEC Will Live Up to Preseason Hype

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shakes hands with head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers afterthe 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Alabama won the game by a score of 21-0. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The SEC has six schools in the Associated Press Top 25, and five of those schools (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas) are in the Top 10.

As usual, the SEC is expected to be college football's top conference. And once again, it will live up to the hype.

The SEC has won the BCS National Championship six straight years. The conference was 5-2 in bowl games other than the national championship game last year, which was of course contested between two SEC teams, Alabama and LSU.

Oh, and the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M will only make the conference more competitive. As if the SEC really needed to be more competitive.

We'll get a good idea of how the conference stacks up against the rest of the country early in the season. Alabama takes on Michigan in one of the season's most exciting matchups, on September 1. That same day, Auburn and Clemson are set to do battle.

Of course, the season will probably come down to the battle for the SEC West waged among Alabama, LSU and Arkansas. There's a pretty good chance that whichever team manages to come out of the West unscathed will find itself in the national championship game.

Well, if they survive the SEC Championship, that is.

How would you like to be Nick Saban, who has so much talent on hand he can lose five players in the first 35 picks in the NFL draft and still be ranked No. 2 heading into the next season?

Or how about Les Miles, who dismisses a Heisman Trophy finalist from a year ago, Tyrann Mathieu, and still is No. 3 in the country?

South Carolina gets stud runner Marcus Lattimore back from injury. Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis will be on Heisman watch lists this season. Georgia looks like it will have an excellent, senior-laden defense.

From top to bottom, the SEC looks poised to own college football once again in 2012. The rest of the country might not like it, but these days, the best college football is being played down south.

Here are the full AP Top 25 rankings:


1 USC (25) 1445
2 Alabama (17) 1411
3 LSU (16) 1402
4 Oklahoma (1) 1286
5 Oregon 1274
6 Georgia 1107
7 Florida State 1093
8 Michigan (1) 1000
9 South Carolina 994
10 Arkansas 963
11 West Virginia 856
12 Wisconsin 838
13 Michigan State 742
14 Clemson 615
15 Texas 569
16 Virginia Tech 548
17 Nebraska 485
18 Ohio State 474
19 Oklahoma State 430
20 TCU 397
21 Stanford 383
22 Kansas State 300
23 Florida 214
24 Boise State 212
25 Louisville 105


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