NCAA 2012 Football Season Preview
The NCAA 2012 football season has kicked off and is already generating the anticipated excitement. No matter whom your team is there is no denying that there are great games occurring across USA every week.
The top five teams this year are predicted to be USC, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon. In Week 1 USC beat Hawaii 49-10, Alabama won over Michigan (8) 41-14, LSU beat North Texas 41-14, Oklahoma put down UTEP ¬¬¬¬¬24-7, and Oregon over came Arkansas State 50-13.
Alabama is the defending national champions and they looked it in their win over Michigan (8). Alabama players have come out saying they are looking for a second championship. Nick Saban reportedly spent the offseason reminding the players they would have to re-muster for another charge at the title. After winning the national title in 2009 then looking lackluster in 2010, Saban wants to eliminate any form of complacency from his guys. The product of this effort was evident in the outstanding performance of true freshman running back T.J. Yeldon who ran for 11 carries with 111 yrds and a TD.
But Alabama will not be repeat champs if LSU has anything to say about it. On November 3rd Alabama will travel to LSU. This will be a conference game (SEC), a must win and a must watch game for fans. Likewise on November 3rd the nation will be tuned-in when USC (1) meets Oregon (5) in the toughest match-up of the season for both teams (again, this is a conference game, Pac-12). The outcome of these games could very well determine who meets in the national championship. Most commentators are expecting the championship game to be a SEC-Pac12 Showdown.
Oklahoma will not be playing any of the top five teams but they will play a number of ranked teams, the highest ranked being West Virginia (11) with Heisman candidate Geno Smith on November 17th. Looking outside of the top five, Georgia (6) will play two critical games against ranked conference opponents. On October 6th Georgia will travel to South Carolina (9) and shortly after on October 27th they host Florida (23) at home. Georgia is a team that many are predicting to surprise this year. On offense they are led by Heisman candidate and junior QB Aaron Murray who set a school record throwing 35 TDs last season. On the defensive side Georgia returns linebacker Jarvis Jones who led the SEC last season in sack with 13 ½.
The likely contenders for the Heisman Trophy are Matt Barkley (USC), Montee Ball (Wisconsin) and Geno Smith (West Virginia). Matt Barkley (QB) has started the season with a huge night against Hawaii. He finished the game with a 171 rating, throwing for 351 yrds with 4 TDs. Matt Barkley is far and away the favorite to win the Heisman. If he leads USC to a terrific season coming out of NCAA sanctions that will only better his chances. Montee Ball (RB) had a good game against Northern Iowa running for 120 yrds and 1 TD; he also added three catches for 31 yrds. Wisconsin will be depending on Ball all season, especially so if they keep playing mediocre football like they did Week 1. Geno Smith (QB) was stunning against Marshall posting a 200.9 rating, passing for 323 yrds, 4 TDs and, most impressive, a pass completion percentage of 88.9%; oh and he ran for 65 yrds and 1 TD. He will face five Top 25 teams in Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. Texas, TCU and Kansas St. this season and good showings against those teams will give Smith a boost for the Heisman.
It would seem like the 2012 National Championship will land in the hands of either USC or Alabama as both teams are sporting solid squads; they are productive and motivated. USC coming off post-season ban and Alabama looking to repeat their championship run. The problem for Alabama (SEC) is that USC (Pac-12) is 22-11-1 against SEC opponents. The SEC is a perennial powerhouse, but USC is back!
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