Preseason College Football Rankings 2012: Overexposed Teams That Will Flop

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2012

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 28-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The biggest argument against college football's preseason rankings is the fact that every season a handful of overexposed programs fail to live up to their top spot in the poll.

In 2012, look for more of the same. 

With so-called experts determining which programs belong in the Top 25 before a single ball is kicked, snapped or thrown, there are sure to be mistakes.

Here are some overexposed teams that will flop this fall.


No. 8 Michigan 

It won't take long for Michigan to flop in this college football season. The No. 8-ranked Wolverines play the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. Alabama routinely boasts one of the nation's most feared defensive units, and that will be the case in 2012 again.

A more pressing issue for the Wolverines in 2012 will be the fact that they depend on quarterback Denard Robinson for so much offensively. Robinson has thrown for more than 2,100 yards and rushed for more than 1,100 yards each of the last two seasons, and he will need to be Superman again for Michigan this fall if it is to fulfill its BCS hopes.

With so much talk of Michigan winning the Big Ten this season and returning to the top of college football, it seems the Wolverines are destined to flop. Robinson's style of play makes him prone to injury, and if Michigan loses him for any period of time, they will struggle immensely.


No. 12 Wisconsin

The Badgers lost a critical playmaker to the NFL this offseason. Quarterback Russell Wilson drove the Wisconsin offense a season ago. Although Montee Ball is still lined up in the Badgers' backfield, they boast a one-dimensional attack in 2012. Transfer quarterback Danny O'Brien comes over from Maryland this season after seemingly forgetting how to play the position last year with the Terps.

As someone who watched O'Brien play in person last season, I can honestly say that Badgers fans should be a little worried about the strength of their quarterback play to open up the new season. O'Brien went from being named ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010 to being benched in favor of C.J. Brown midseason in 2011.

The Badgers play tough Big Ten conference games against Nebraska, Michigan State and Ohio State this season. Unless Wisconsin gets quality production from their quarterback and wide receivers in those matchups, Ball will be useless as the opposing defense crowd the box and force the Badgers to beat them through the air. 


2012 USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll Top 25

Rank Team (first-place votes) Record Points
1 LSU (18) 13-1 1,403
2 Alabama (20)
12-1 1,399
3 Southern California (19)
10-2 1,388
10-3 1,276
5 Oregon 12-2 1,258
6 Georgia 10-4 1,061
7 Florida State 
9-4 1,055
8 Michigan 11-2 1,023
9 South Carolina 11-2 981
10 Arkansas 11-2 948
11 West Virginia 10-3 833
12 Wisconsin 11-3 743
13 Michigan State 11-3 717
14 Clemson 10-4 598
15 Texas 8-5 549
16 Nebraska 9-4 501
17 TCU 11-2 499
18 Stanford 11-2 497
19 Oklahoma State 12-1 476
20 Virginia Tech 11-3 461
21 Kansas State 10-3 398
22 Boise State 12-1 271
23 Florida 7-6 250
24 Notre Dame 8-5 166
25 Auburn 8-5 66

Click here to see the USA Today Preseason Poll.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter all season long for more college football reaction and analysis. 

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