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NCAA Football Preseason Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Live Up to Lofty Rankings

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before playing against the Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2012

The 2012 college football season begins on August 30 and concludes on January 7, 2013, with the BCS National Championship Game. In between those two key dates, a number of teams will come and go from the polls.

However, a select few have been put near the top of the preseason rankings and will not relinquish their spots for the entire season.

These powerhouses are going to prove their doubters wrong and validate the voters that elected to rank them so high.

Let’s take a look at those programs.

 

No. 1 USC

The Trojans are arguably the best team in the nation and should have no problem living up to that billing until the national championship game.

A veteran quarterback, Matt Barkley, leads Lane Kiffin’s squad, and there are a number of elite skill-position players flanking him on offense. The Trojans have a tenacious and experienced defense that is hungrier than ever now that they are bowl eligible.

Expect USC to dominate the Pac-12 and not face a real challenge until the championship.

 

No. 2 Alabama

Nick Saban and co. are fresh off one national championship, but that will not stop them from trying like hell to win another.

AJ McCarron will be back and better than ever, and he will have ample protection, with four starters on the offensive line returning.

Defense is where this team shines, although the unit lost a number of top players and returns only five starters.

Regardless, the Crimson Tide have depth and elite coaching and should have no problem vying for a repeat title.

 

No. 4 Oklahoma

The Sooners had a high-powered passing attack last season, but the defense failed to get the job done. That resulted in a 10-3 record during a year in which many felt that OU could have won it all.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops must get his ducks in a row and fine-tune a unit that will make or break the Sooners this season.

Should he accomplish that task, Oklahoma will be in the running for a national title.

 

Here's the current preseason Top 25 from the AP.

RANK

TEAM

POINTS

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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