TRST Pre-Season College Football Top 25! 5-1!
By Nate Sarmir-TRST College Football Analyst
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5. Oregon Ducks– The surprising departure of quarterback Darron Thomas (2493yards and 30 touchdowns) was a setback to Oregon’s chances of winning the Pac-12, but the Ducks remain the favorite to win the North Division. Sophomore Bryan Bennett (391 yards and 6 touchdowns) should be Thomas’ replacement, as he showed plentyof promise in limited action last season. Although running back LaMichael James(1646 yards and 17 touchdowns) will be missed, the one-two combination of Kenjon Barner (909 yards and 11 touchdowns) and De’Anthony Thomas (1200 total yards and 16 total touchdowns) will give the backfield plenty of talent in 2012. The defense finished fifth in the Pac-12 in points allowed, but could be even better next season returning 8 starters including All-Conference players: Defensive end Dion Jordan and Free Safety John Boyett. The Ducks have an experienced team,hungry for titles. Projected Record: 11-1
4. Louisiana State University Tigers– The Tigers were easily blown out in the national title game by Alabama, but all is not lost going into 2012. LSU has one of the top returning rosters next season, but it also features a handful of question marks. The offense will have one of the top backfields, Michael Ford (756 yards and 7 touchdowns)and Spencer Ware (707 yards and 8 touchdowns) and offensive lines, including twoAll-Conference offensive tackles Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst, in the nation, butthe Tigers will have to rely on Zach Mettenberger (92 yards and 1 touchdown) to improve the quarterback play. The defense will miss cornerback Morris Claiborne,tackle Michael Brockers, and Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, but this unit shouldstill rank among the nation’s best. The defense returns five startersincluding All-Conference Defensive end Barkevious Mingo and Free Safety Eric Reid, and All-American Defensive end Sam Montgomery. Projected Record: 10-2
3. Oklahoma Sooners-The Sooners were one of the favorites to win the national title in 2011,but slipped to a 10-3 record and a fourth-place finish in the Big 12. Althoughit was a disappointing season for Oklahoma, they should finish back in the top10 this year. The offense never recovered after an injury to receiver Ryan Broyles (1157 yards and 10 touchdowns), but the passing attack should be better withan offseason to sort everything out. Dominique Whaley’s (627 yards and 9 touchdowns) return from a broken ankle should help bolster the rushing offense and help totake the pressure off of quarterback Landry Jones (4302 yards and 28 TDs). The defense returns eight starters including All-Conference Cornerback Demontre Hurst. Also the addition of former Arizona coach Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator figures to only help this group get better in 2012. Projected Record: 12-0
2. Alabama Crimson Tide– After claiming the national title, Nick Saban and his coaching staffhave some work to do in order to get this team back to No. 1 by the end of nextseason. The Crimson Tide suffered some key losses on both sides of the ball, but Saban has recruited well and this team should be able to reload by midseason. AJ McCarron (2400 yards and 16 touchdowns) had a breakout performance in the national championship against LSU and will be expected to build upon that game in 2012. Losing Trent Richardson is a huge blow to the offense, but Eddie Lacy (631 yards and seven touchdowns), Kenny Bell (255 yards and 2 TDs), and Jalston Fowler (385 yards and4 TDs) are a capable group. The offensive line is verystrong with four returning starters including All-Conference Offensive GuardChance Warmack and All-American Offensive tackle Barrett Jones. Six startersare gone off the nation’s best defense, which returns five experienced starters including four seniors. The defense will be tested early with games againstArkansas and Michigan in September. Record: 12-0
1. University of Southern California Trojans– If any team is going to end the SEC’s run of dominance, the Trojans are going to be that team. Quarterback Matt Barkley(3528 yards and 39 touchdowns) decided to return for his senior year and will be throwing to one of the top receiving corps in the nation. Also the Trojans added ex-PSU running back Silas Redd (1241 yards and 7 touchdowns) after the sanction fallout at PSU. Replacing offensive tackle Matt Kalil will be one of the biggest question marks for Coach Kiffin.The defense showed improvement last year, but must replace four starters,including all-conference selection defensive end Nick Perry. The defense still has talent though with four All-Conference players: Defensive End Wes Horton,Strongside linebacker Dion Bailey, Cornerback Nickell Robey, and Free Safety T.J. McDonald. The Trojans won’t have the depth of LSU or Alabama, but there’s plenty of talent coming back to Los Angeles for a run at the national title next year, the Trojans return two All-American players and seven All-Conference players for 2012. Record: 12-0 and 2012 NCAA National Champions.
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Posted on August 30, 2012, in College Football, NCAA and tagged BCS, College Football start, College Football top 25, Fiesta Bowl, Ka$h Kelly and AC Sports Report, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley Hesiman, National Title, National Title PReview, silas redd usc, the real sports talk, The Real Sports Talk Network, therealsportstalk, trst. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.