Preseason College Football Rankings 2012: Teams Most Deserving Their Positions

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIAugust 24, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Coach Jimbo Fisher gives a play to quarterback E. J. Manuel #3 of the Florida State Seminoles during play against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Champs Sports Bowl December 29, 2011 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.  FSU won 18 - 14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Associated Press preseason college football rankings have been released, spurring discussions of which teams are deserving or undeserving of their early poll positions.

There's no better way to continue those conversations than to throw another argument into the mix, so here are three teams who deserve their current spots on the AP preseason poll.


No. 7 Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles might have posted four losses in 2011, but that doesn't mean the opposition rolled right over head coach Jimbo Fisher's team. Florida State's largest loss margin came against then-No.1 Oklahoma by a score of 23-13.

In all of Oklahoma's victories last season, it never came as close to losing as it did against FSU, which is impressive for the Seminoles, considering that the Sooners hung 58 points on Kansas State. The Wildcats were ranked No. 12 at the time of that contest.

The Seminoles have eight players returning from the last season on each side of the football, which means chemistry has already been established among many of the players.

All of that says the 'Noles have experience on their side, to go along with a coach who has had another offseason to build on his previous 10- and nine-win seasons with the team.


No. 11 West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers finished out 2011 with a 10-3 record and a No. 17 AP ranking, and they rightfully moved up six places from that previous mark.

Considering West Virginia defeated two of the three Top 25 teams it played last season and that the team's only loss in that department came against LSU, a No. 11 ranking seems fair.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen can build off a solid first year with his team and prove to the nation that there's a reason the Mountaineers are ranked just outside the Top 10.

It helps that the team already knows a thing or two about rising to the occasion.

Last year, this team answered its loss to the Tigers by winning three of the next four games. West Virginia blew out Bowling Green and Connecticut before a loss to Syracuse. The team answered the loss to the Orange with victory over Rutgers.

Holgorsen's squad deserves a certain amount of respect heading into the 2012 regular season, and the Mountaineers received it from the AP in this poll.


No. 21 Stanford Cardinal

Stanford did lose its starting quarterback and tight end to the NFL this past draft, but that doesn't mean the Cardinal should be written off heading into 2012.

Josh Nunes has been named the team's new starting QB, after sitting behind 2012 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Andrew Luck, and that experience alone should instill a bit of confidence in the Cardinal faithful.

Nunes had the pleasure of learning from and watching one of the most highly touted pro prospects in recent memory, more than likely picked up a thing or two along the way.

The newest Stanford quarterback admitted to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News that he won't try to be Luck, but that doesn't mean he can't be a fraction as great as the former starter.

This squad did not go 11-2 in its first season without Jim Harbaugh and reach the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl thanks to the skills of its previous quarterback alone. 

Freshmen and sophomores dominate the 2012 Cardinal roster, but that doesn't mean this team can't compete and match its preseason AP ranking when the regular season comes to a close.