College Football 2012 Early Season Review

By | September 25, 2012

Contenders or pretenders? A review of the first four weeks of college football 2012.

It might already feel like forever ago when the Associated Press anointed the top NCAA football teams heading into the 2012 season. A mere four weeks of intense match-ups, with a few cream puff games along the way, have provided some clarity on which teams are legitimate contenders and which are looking more like pretenders.

Let’s comb through the Associated Press’ top five preseason teams of 2012 to examine which teams were worth the hype and which ones are simply not stacking up to the lofty expectations set forth for them at the beginning of the year.

1. USC
With standout quarterback Matt Barkley calling plays under center and newly-acquired Penn State running back Silas Redd highlighting an explosive offense, the Lane Kiffin led Trojans were a favorite to make a strong run at a National Championship. However, they stumbled in that pursuit during week 3 by letting a 21-14 decision against Pacific-12 foe Stanford slip through their fingers. With convincing wins over Hawaii, Syracuse and California, the Trojans have dropped to No. 13 and have yet to record a win over a ranked opponent.

Contender or pretender?
Pretender

2. ALABAMA
The Crimson Tide has taken over at the No. 1 spot, and for good reason. They have mowed through the competition, kicking the year off with a 41-14 win over then No. 8 Michigan in what was supposed to be a competitive game. From there, Alabama has toppled opponents by a combined score of 127-7. Outside of a Nov. 3 date with LSU, the Crimson Tide should easily run the table and reach its third BCS National Championship game in the last four years.

Contender or pretender?
Contender

3. LSU
After falling 21-0 to Alabama in last year’s national championship, it would appear the Tigers are on a collision course with a possible rematch on the same stage. Junior Zach Mettenberg took over at quarterback this season, a transition eased by a backfield with a bevy of capable rushers in Kenny Hilliard, Alfred Blue, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware. The Tigers have already earned a lopsided 41-3 victory over Washington, one of the most highly anticipated nonconference games for any SEC team. Still, the jury is somewhat out on LSU after struggling to stay unblemished with a close 12-10 victory over a lowly Auburn squad. The Tigers currently sit at No. 3 in the AP poll and have also beaten up on North Texas and Idaho.

Contender or pretender?
Contender

4. OKLAHOMA
This week, the 2-1 Sooners plummeted to No. 16 following a 24-19 loss to Big 12 opponent Kansas State. Savvy and decorated quarterback Landry Jones returns for Oklahoma, but is forced to find new targets after the nation’s top receiver Ryan Broyles graduated along with a couple of other of Jones’ favorite targets. While the Sooners offense appears potent, putting up 69 points in an easy win over Florida A&M, it lagged badly against Kansas State. Oklahoma doesn’t play in the toughest conference in the land, nor is its schedule as brutal as that of some teams, but the most recent result has made the Sooners look suspect.

Contender or pretender?
Pretender

5. OREGON
Coming into this season on the heels of winning three-straight PAC-12 (known previously as the PAC-10) titles, the Ducks had high expectations. After four weeks of play, they have met them. Oregon has sliced through its first four opponents, Arkansas St., Fresno St., Tennessee Tech and Arizona. If the Ducks, now ranked No. 2, can prevail against high-caliber opponents like Washington, USC and Stanford, their big goals will certainly come to fruition.

Contender or pretender?
Contender

One thought on “College Football 2012 Early Season Review

  1. Jim

    Alabama is clearly in a league of their own this season. They should have no problem getting past USC.

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