The college football season is almost here. In a month the action will be underway, and it is never too early to get ready. Being well prepared for the beginning of the season is the best way to profit when betting on college football. Here’s a look at my 2012 NCAA Football Preseason Top Ten.
10. Michigan Wolverines – Brady Hoke’s first year with Michigan was a huge success. The Wolverines defense went from an embarrassment to one of the best in the league in no time. Denard Robinson is back for another year, and Fitzgerald Toussaint gives the team an elite running back in the backfield as well. The schedule is tougher this year, but things are building quickly in Ann Arbor.
9. South Carolina Gamecocks – Marcus Lattimore may be the best running back in the country if he is healthy. Steve Spurrier is clearly making some significant upgrades at South Carolina, and the team is a very difficult one to beat right now. Clowney and Taylor is the best defensive end tandem in the nation. Look for this team to make noise again in 2012.
8. Wisconsin Badgers – I think the Badgers are underrated almost every year. Bret Bielema doesn’t get enough credit for what he does with this team. Russell Wilson is gone, but I expect O’Brien to be a very good quarterback for this team. Montee Ball and James White will be a magnificent one-two punch in the backfield. The defense should be even better than last season.
7. Georgia Bulldogs – The SEC East is better than people realize, and Georgia probably has the most talent in this division. Aaron Murray is a talented third-year starter under center, and freshman Keith Marshall should help a lot in the backfield. Murray should be the best quarterback in the SEC, and this Bulldogs defense has the potential to be great.
6. Oklahoma Sooners – I feel like the Sooners have dropped a notch or two over the last few years. This program used to be a national title contender every single season, but now I think they somewhere in the number five to number eight range in the nation. Landry Jones should have a huge year, but I’m not sure the defense is good enough for this team to win it all.
5. Florida State Seminoles – Florida State should be much improved in the year ahead. The Seminoles have a ton of depth thanks to an amazing recruiting class, and E.J. Manuel appears ready for a breakout season at quarterback. The defense is led by what may be the best defensive line in the country. This team’s athleticism is likely to overwhelm most of their opponents.
4. Alabama Crimson Tide – Alabama lost a ton of talent from last year’s title team, but I can’t drop them any further than this. Nick Saban has put together an amazing program at Alabama, and even on a “down year” this team will almost definitely be one of the top five in the nation. The secondary will likely suffer the biggest drop off from last year. Their tough schedule makes a repeat very difficult
3. Oregon Ducks – Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks just keep winning games with their ultra-exciting offensive system. De’Anthony Thomas might be the most explosive offensive player in the nation, and I expect him to be used in all kinds of ways in 2012. Darron Thomas is gone, but the Ducks have two very solid quarterbacks ready for this season. Also, Kenjon Barner has the ability to take it to the house at any point during the game. The defense should be better than last season. Oregon is going to be extremely good this year.
2. USC Trojans – Matt Barkley surprised most people by staying in school for his senior season, and that has USC at the top of some people’s rankings. Depth is a concern for USC, and I think they may end up biting them against an elite opponent this year. Still, this team has the play makers to be as explosive as anyone on offense this year. In addition, the defense is anchored by All-American T.J. McDonald, who should have a huge season. Don’t be surprised if USC goes undefeated in the regular season.
1. LSU Tigers – LSU definitely has the potential to be better in 2012 than they were in 2011. Let’s not forget, this team was absolutely amazing in 2011. There isn’t a better secondary in the entire nation. Tyrann Mathieu is an amazing play maker who should just get better in the year ahead. On offense, there will be no quarterback controversy this season. Zach Mettenbeger should allow the team to throw it around more than they have in the past. Depth is a major strength for the Tigers. Look for a huge season from the boys from Baton Rouge.
is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!