Some may think it silly or downright trivial to offer up a preseason poll without anybody having played a single football game. Furthermore, for the most part, it is inconsequential for most of the major schools because they will end up playing each other and whether you're #1 or #21, if you play in one of the BCS conferences, you will get your just dues.
With that said, indeed we do have preseason polls and one of the biggest and most noteworthy of polls is the Associated Press poll of college football writers across the United States. For 2012, the writers have voted. Here's a glance at each of the top five.
5. Oregon Ducks - The guys in Eugene are as good as they come. Nobody has really figured out their offense yet and the talent level is nearly on par with any school in the country. There may be questions at quarterback and receiver this season but the defense is improved; so, whatever slip in production from the offense will more than likely be made up by a very decent-looking defense.
4. Oklahoma Sooners - There are some questions on the offensive line but overall, Oklahoma just reloads and can match any school in the country. Mike Stoops returns to the Sooners to help the defense but there are depth issues on the D-line. If Oklahoma's linemen can come through for them this year, the Sooners will be knocking on the door of a national championship.
3. LSU Tigers - The schedule won't be easy for LSU but it's not as tough as it could be; plus, they'll still be favored in every game they play this season. Once more, a powerful running game and stout defense will lead the way. If their new quarterback can handle the rigors of an SEC season, they will be at or near the top of the polls all year.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide - Their schedule could be the toughest of the top teams and they start off with a tough game against a potentially powerful #8 Michigan. Then they open SEC play at #10 Arkansas and they also play Missouri and #3 LSU on the road. Alabama has some holes to fill on both sides of the line of scrimmage but as far as importance, their defense is what won them the national championship in 2011 - they should be able to reload without any problems. If the Crimson Tide can get by those first couple of big road contests, the showdown with LSU will likely be for a trip to the national championship game.
1. USC Trojans - A couple of years on probation was all that was needed to bring the spark back at USC … oh, and the leading Heisman Trophy contender, quarterback Matt Barkley. He has two of the best receivers in the country and two 1,000 yard rushers in the backfield. The talent is there but the defense is the question - especially on the defensive line. An early Pac-12 road game at Stanford will give everyone an idea of where this team is headed. Back-to-back conference games on the road against Utah and Washington will be a test and then, of course, the early November showdown with Oregon. If the Trojans are as good as they appear to be, they will roll to the national championship.
Realizing that preseason polls don't matter to those who don't agree with them, most in the industry would argue the AP poll is more highly regarded than any others out there.
As a fan of USC and college football in the west, I'm happy to know others across the country see the same thing I do - a talent-laden team with an offense that may become renowned for years to come. I appreciate that maybe the SEC vote was split between Alabama and LSU, which may have contributed to the Trojans number one spot atop the poll; but, the same could be said about Oregon and USC. I'll also add that if USC wasn't what they are expected to be this year, the Ducks would or should have been #1.
So do you agree with the AP poll?
Sources - Associated Press, Yahoo! Sports
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!