Early Look at 2012 in College Football

With last night’s domination of LSU, Alabama took home the National Championship trophy for the 2011 season. It’s sad that College Football is over now, so the only thing to do is look ahead to next season. I’ll go through my projected Top 30 teams, and give you an idea of what kind of season they could have.

1. LSU- This is obvious, the Tigers return a ton of talent from this year’s squad and they get Alabama in Baton Rouge next year. They  have a favorable schedule to be playing for the title again next year.

2. Oklahoma- This is probably surprising, but the Sooners underachieved this year and return 8 starters on both sides of the ball. Their schedule isn’t bad, and I project them to face LSU at the end of the year.

3. Alabama- Nick Saban is a genius, that’s all you need to know. Bama could only have one blemish next year from LSU.

4. Oregon- The Ducks will lose LaMichael James, but his value comes from the explosive offense, and an improving defense.

5. Georgia- Another SEC team? Yeah the Dogs are probably heading towards another double digit win season, problem is they have to beat LSU in the title game.

6. Florida State- The Seminoles are always overrated, and for reason I think will be next year, but a favorable schedule will finally give them the opportunity to achieve a healthy amount of wins and an ACC title.

7. Southern Cal- Not quite on board with the Trojans yet. Lane Kiffin is still Lane Kiffin and the Trojans defense is still kinda bad. A late season surge in 2011 will not convince me they are ready to compete for a National Title.

8. South Carolina- The Gamecocks will be running the ball every play next season, seriously. They return Marcus Lattimore from injury, and Connor Shaw who is mobile, but can’t throw well. Their defense should still be very good and have them right there with Georgia in the East.

9. Arkansas- Yeah this is 5 out of the top 9 from the SEC, and Arkansas should be just as good as last year. Tyler Wilson will be slinging it around again to a talented group.

10. Stanford- Post Andrew Luck will be interesting, but the Cardinal have built a strong run game and defense which should help them plow through many of the lesser Pac 12 teams.

11. Virginia Tech- The Hokies lose a lot of offense, but return QB Logan Thomas. On defense they return almost everyone and should be salty. Frank Beemer wins game and should be back in the ACC title game once again.

12. Michigan- Brady Hoke’s bunch weren’t flashy in 2011, and might not have been as good as their record but they are well coached and return a good nucleus next season. They should be one of many front runners in the Big Ten.

13. West Virginia- The high powered offense should be better next season with Geno Smith running the show again. The Mountaineers could face a tough time in the Big 12 though.

14. Nebraska- The Huskers were bizarre this season showing struggles with the passing game and on defense, but they return a lot and could make a step towards a Big 10 title.

15. Ohio State- Yeah, 6-6 to top 15? Urban Meyer is that good…I think. They have talent, and a very good D so why not?

16. Clemson- The Tigers return all their offensive skill players but lose three lineman on both sides. A defensive overhaul might be needed after an embarrassing use of talent in 2011. A favorable schedule might help them overcome some shortcomings.

17. Notre Dame- The Irish weren’t bad this year, they just were terrible in the red zone. They return plenty and could take a nice step next year.

18. Michigan State- They should have a great defense, but how much offense they can produce will determine how good they can be.

19. TCU- The Horned Frogs will jump to the Big 12 and should have good success in year one because of the well coached D and young talent offense.

20. Oklahoma State- An opportunistic defense in 2011 must be good next year to overcome the loss of Justin Blackmon and company.

21. Wisconsin

22. Texas

23. Georgia Tech

24. Baylor

25. Florida

26. BYU

27. Rutgers

28. Kansas State

29. Texas A&M

30. North Carolina

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