College Football Preseason Rankings 2013: Key USA Today Poll Release Information

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College Football Preseason Rankings 2013: Key USA Today Poll Release Information
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USA Today is scheduled to release its 2013 college football preseason rankings poll on Thursday, August 1, according to the company’s national writer, George Schroeder:

This announcement is huge for the fans of the sport who understand the release of this poll indicates that the preseason is approaching fast. College football season is almost here.

Here is all of the need-to-know information for the USA Today’s big release.

 

When: Thursday, Aug. 1

Time: 12 p.m. ET

Where: USAToday.com (updated rankings available upon release)

 

Predicting Where Most Intriguing Teams Land

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes, 2012 Record: 12-0 (8-0)

Key Returns: QB Braxton Miller, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Bradley Roby

The Ohio State Buckeyes are eligible for bowls and the NCAA postseason this year, and the Urban Meyer-led program will look to keep the momentum going from the 12-0 record it amassed in 2012.

The biggest focus of the Buckeyes' season will be how quarterback Braxton Miller grows as a player and how much he matures in the Ohio State offense.

If Miller can improve on his impressive sophomore season—2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns passing and 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing—the Heisman Trophy and the BCS National Championship could be heading to Columbus.

While the suspension of star running back Carlos Hyde (he will miss at least the first three games, according to Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com) hurts the team’s chances at perfection, Ohio State will have the opportunity to show its grit and mettle early in the season.

 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

No. 8 Clemson Tigers, 2012 Record: 11-2 (7-1)

Key Returns: QB Tajh Boyd, WR Sammy Watkins, DE Vic Beasley

The Clemson Tigers fell under the radar last season, but the explosive offense led by now-senior quarterback Tajh Boyd has proven itself to be a force in the ACC and beyond.

Expect more of the same this year.

While the loss of a talented wide receiver like DeAndre Hopkins to the NFL (drafted by the Houston Texans) can’t be underestimated, junior Sammy Watkins is ready to take over the No. 1 role and show just how great he can be.

Add in improvements across board on the defensive side of the ball, and Clemson will be a serious contender as the season winds along. The Tigers are looking for a BCS bowl bid at the very least.

 

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

No. 18 Boise State Broncos, 2012 Record: 11-2 (7-1)

Key Returns: QB Joe Southwick, WR Matt Miller, DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe

The Boise State Broncos will once again fly under the radar coming into the season, but as the team always does, the players and coaches will use the lack of respect as motivation to play well and get better each week.

After leading the team to an impressive 11-2 record last season, senior quarterback Joe Southwick is ready for his last chance to shine at Boise State. Add in the progression of junior wide receiver Matt Miller, and the offense will be potent once again.

Losing running back D.J. Harper to the NFL (undrafted free agent signed by the San Francisco 49ers) was a serious blow to the Broncos, but the emergence of sophomore Jay Ajayi as the team’s featured back (6.7 yards per carry in 2012) should lead to a steady helping of the Boise State rushing attack.

Expect the Broncos to clean house in the Mountain West Conference this year and be in the conversation for a national championship bid.

All statistics via USA Today.

 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Predicted Top 25 Preseason Rankings

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Oregon Ducks

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

4. Texas A&M Aggies

5. Stanford Cardinal

6. Georgia Bulldogs

7. Florida Gators

8. Clemson Tigers

9. LSU Tigers

10. Louisville Cardinals

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

12. South Carolina Gamecocks

13. Florida State Seminoles

14. Michigan Wolverines

15. Oklahoma Sooners

16. Oklahoma State Cowboys

17. Texas Longhorns

18. Boise State Broncos

19. Oregon State Beavers

20. TCU Horned Frogs

21. Michigan State Spartans

22. Nebraska Cornhuskers

23. Northern Illinois Huskies

24. UCLA Bruins

25. Northwestern Wildcats

 

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