Countdown to Kickoff: Team previews, top players and more on the 2012 college football season

Here's a look at our preseason countdown of all 124 teams. The top team will be unveiled Aug. 16, two weeks before the start of the 2012 college football season.

No. 47 SMU

SMU has a chance to make a splash in its final season in Conference USA. The Mustangs again should vie with Houston and Tulsa for the C-USA West title, thanks to a defense that will be the best in their division. 2012 season preview

There have been a lot of changes at Pitt. Three head coaches in three seasons, and the Panthers will leave the Big East for the ACC after this season. Can they go out on a high note and win the regular-season title? 2012 season preview

The Golden Eagles, who are one of the most consistent teams in the nation (one of four teams with 18 straight winning seasons), have a new head coach in Ellis Johnson but the same high expectations. 2012 season preview

The Wildcats have some issues, most notably at tailback and in the secondary, but they should be able to earn a bowl bid, which would be their fifth straight. But they seemed to have plateaued as their win total keeps decreasing.  2012 season preview

The rest

51-55:  Houston, Virginia, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Ohio
56-60:  Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech, Baylor, Arizona, Purdue
61-65:  Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State, Iowa State, Navy
66-70:  Nevada, Wyoming, Wake Forest, Tulsa, Connecticut
71-75:  Boston College, FIU, San Diego State, East Carolina, Ole Miss
76-80:  Maryland, Toledo, Syracuse, Colorado, Miami (Ohio)
81-85:  Air Force, Northern Illinois, Fresno State, La.-Lafayette, Kentucky
86-90:  Marshall, Utah State, Western Michigan, Arkansas State, Bowling Green
91-95:  La.-Monroe, Colorado State, Kent State, Minnesota, Temple
96-100:  Duke, Troy, Kansas, San Jose State, Indiana
101-105:  Western Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Tulane, Ball State, North Texas
106-110:  Central Michigan, UAB, UNLV, Army, Hawaii
111-115:  UTEP, Rice, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Buffalo
116-120:  New Mexico, Memphis, Idaho, FAU, Akron
121-124:  South Alabama, Texas State, Masachusetts, UT San Antonio

Top 100 players

Nos. 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61

Other previews

The nation's best defensive duos
The nation's top offensive duos
Scheme changes at these 10 schools should lead to success
Best players who will be on losing teams

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