Big League Clu gives you the lowdown on the top 10 NCAA football squads.
So now we’ve reached the top 10… I will be taking a little bit more time to go through some of these teams, since these are probably going to be teams you will be hearing about the entire year and will see them in the National spotlight. So sit back and enjoy some interesting stuff!
#10 Arkansas Razorbacks
SEC (West Division)
2011: 11-2 (Won Cotton Bowl)
Quite an off season for the Razorbacks, wouldn’t you say? After finishing the season Ranked #5 in the country (their highest ranking since 1977), head coach Bobby Petrino was fired due to a “inappropriate relationship” he had previously had with former Arkansas All-SEC volleyball player Jessica Dorrell (Dorrell and Petrino were involved in a motorcycle accident which helped bring the scandal to light). Anyway, afterwards, they cut him loose and transitioned in veteran head coach John L. Smith. Smith has quite a team to work with in his first year as coach at Arkansas. QB Tyler Wilson, who currently holds 9 records including pass attempts (438) and completions (277) in a season, should challenge for at least another career season in 2012. Arkansas does face an early test in the SEC West, when they take on the Crimson Tide of Alabama on Sept. 15. If they can manage to get a big win over the reigning national champions, then many think that it would only help legitimize the Razorbacks as top contenders in the SEC.
#9 South Carolina Gamecocks
SEC (East Division)
2011: 11-2 (Won Capital One Bowl)
Hey does anyone happen to remember Steve Spurrier? He’s the head coach for South Carolina! It took him a few years, but he’s turned USC (the other USC) into a contender. The Ball Coach believes that it might be his team’s turn to finally compete for its first Southeastern Conference Championship, which they still have yet to win in this stacked SEC conference. USC has been a run-first offense the last two seasons, thanks largely to the emergence of Junior RB Marcus Lattimore (819 yards rushing, 10 TDs in 7 games). Even when Lattimore went down with a season ending injury, QB Connor Shaw stepped up and showed he was just as good running the ball as he was throwing it. Thanks Connor! Now even with Marcus coming back, I look for the Gamecocks’ air attack to step up, as they boast a talented receiving group led by Justice Cunningham, Rory Anderson, Ace (Ace!) Sanders and Bruce (Beef W)Ellington.
#8 Michigan Wolverines
Big Ten (Legends Division)
2011: 11-2 (Won Sugar Bowl)
Following such a great 2011 campaign will be pretty tough for Denard Robinson & Co. Coming off an 11-2 season and a win in the Sugarbowl, they look like they have something to prove as they try for their first Big Ten title since 2004. Oh and to top things off, they find themselves going up against the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, September 1. Michigan’s offense should be strong again for the 2012 season. They averaged 33 points per game last seas (second in the Big Ten) and of course with big time Heisman Trophy candidate Robinson at QB, the Wolverines will continue to get better. As long as their offensive line and defense hold up, they might be in contention for that Big Ten title. The one area for concern though, is that receiving corps of theirs. Outside of senior WR Roy Roundtree, there’s a whole lot of nothing.
#7 Florida State Seminoles
ACC (Atlantic Division)
2011: 9-4 (Won Champ Sports Bowl)
Doing my best Forrest Gump voice here…Well Florida State was picked to win their conference…AGAAINNN. And they’re also picked to contend for a national championship/BCS…AGAAINNN. Ok enough of that silliness! The one thing that stands out for FSU is the weak schedule that I see starting the year off. I mean really? Murray State!? (And no not the basketball team either). I guess it will give them time to figure out their offensive line and make sure that Senior QB E.J. Manuel can become consistent. But be aware that FSU is certain to boast a very strong defense, as they certainly did last year. Hopefully they fix the problems they had running the ball last year, because they ranked 104th in the country.
#6 Georgia Bulldogs
SEC (East Division)
2011: 10-4 (Lost Outback Bowl)
A 10-4 record in 2011 did many things for the Georgia Bulldogs. For starters, it gave them their first SEC East title since 2005. Second, it saved Head Coach Mike Richt’s job. What can we expect from them in 2012? For starters, look out for Junior QB Aaron Murray, who enters his third year as the starter. A key note in regards to Murray is that in 2011 he set a school record for TD passes (35). However, the Bulldogs faced a ton of off season issues and it will be interesting to see how they play out throughout the course of the 2012 season. GU dismissed leading rusher Isaiah Crowell from the team after he was arrested on a felony weapons charge in late June… Good job! There are also a number of defensive players, Bacarri Rambo (S), Alec Ogeltree (LB) and Sanders Commings (CB), who currently face early-season suspensions due to undisclosed reasons.
Featured image courtesy of: John D. Weiss Photography
- Rivalry Trophy Series: Battle for the Old Brass Spittoon - October 11, 2013
- Rant of the Week: Jets Weekly Edition - October 10, 2013
- Jets Weekly: Gang Green Airs It Out Against the Bills - September 27, 2013
- Jets Weekly: The Week 1 Jitters - September 12, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: Big 12 Conference - September 5, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: The SEC - September 4, 2013
- What to Expect from Rex and the Jets: Your Inside Guide to the 2013 New York Jets - September 3, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: BIG 10 Conference - August 22, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: The ACC - August 20, 2013
- Rant of the Week: Does Montreal Deserve Another Baseball Team? - July 27, 2013