SUMOskinny magazine is the ultimate guide to college life. Part local, part national, and all college.
With 2 weeks until the 2012 college football season kicks off, it’s about that time (especially for you Vegas-types out there) to start paying attention to what to expect for this upcoming season. These top-5 picks are based on research from several credible, national sources. If you don’t agree then, well, ok. Let’s get to it…
1.) LSU Tigers - Three factors driving LSU to be my #1 pick: they return most of the 2nd-ranked defense from a year ago, they have a considerable upgrade at the QB position, and they are royally ticked at how last season ended. (No worries, that BCS thing is on the way out.) Plus, ESPN called LSU’s Death Valley “the scariest place to play” in 2007.
2.) Alabama Crimson Tide – Although Heisman Trophy finalist Trent Richardson left town, the all-world Tide return a defense filled with NFL-caliber men and are coached by arguably the best college football coach in history. Add the fact that QB AJ McCarron returns with National Championship experience (and a ring), and this team will sleep-walk to 10 or more wins.
3.) USC Trojans – Everyone and their sister is picking USC to win it all. I understand that QB Matt Barkley could run for governor in California and all, but did anyone notice their defense last season? It was border-line awful (gave up 43 points to Arizona State). USC’s defense must step-up if they want to win it all. If they think offense alone can get the job done, just ask Oklahoma how that worked out for them in the 2008 BCS title game.
4.) Oregon Ducks – Picking Oregon 4th was tough. I wanted to put them lower. Yes they always have a ridiculously high-scoring and entertaining offenses, but they don’t play anyone with a decent defense. As long as they can replace Darron Thomas and LaMichael James with same- caliber players, expect Oregon to waddle to 10 or more wins and a berth in a BCS bowl.
5.) Florida State Seminoles – I can already hear the grumbling about yet ANOTHER year of Florida State hype. I don’t blame you. But the simple fact is that eventually the ridiculous talent on paper must translate onto the field. And this is that year. Why? Florida State will give LSU and Alabama a run for nation’s best defense, and the schedule is the easiest Florida State has had in some time. However, should FSU lose more than 2 games on that schedule, or fail to win the ACC, things are going to get interesting (and heated) in Tallahassee.
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