SI Vault
 
THE TOP 25 FOR 2012
ANDY STAPLES
January 16, 2012
Who says you have to wait till next year? Here's a look right now at the top teams for next season, and there's a familiar name at No. 1
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
January 16, 2012

The Top 25 For 2012

Who says you have to wait till next year? Here's a look right now at the top teams for next season, and there's a familiar name at No. 1

View CoverRead All Articles

1. LSU (2011 record: 13--1) With possibly seven starters back on both offense and defense, this young Tigers team will be even more dangerous next year.

2. USC (10--2) The return of quarterback Matt Barkley (right) makes the Trojans the team most likely to end the SEC's six-year BCS national title reign.

3. OREGON (12--2) Even with LaMichael James leaving, the Ducks' offense won't slow down behind the Thomases: QB Darron and RB De'Anthony.

4. ARKANSAS (11--2) QB Tyler Wilson (if he returns) and a healthy RB Knile Davis (missed all of '11 with a broken left ankle) give the Hogs a spectacular offense.

5. ALABAMA (12--1) The defending champs will have to replace at least five defensive starters and probably RB Trent Richardson, but the Tide has a stockpile of talent.

6. MICHIGAN STATE (11--3) Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy is gone, but defensive end Will Gholston (16 tackles for loss in '11) will continue to terrorize Big Ten QBs.

7. SOUTH CAROLINA (11--2) RB Marcus Lattimore, out since Oct. 15 with a knee injury, and pass-rushing freak Jadeveon Clowney will anchor the offense and defense, respectively.

8. OKLAHOMA (10--3) Quarterback Landry Jones returns, and so does his backup with a nose for the end zone, Blake (the Belldozer) Bell.

9. GEORGIA (10--4) All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will be the SEC's—and perhaps the country's—best defender.

10. TCU (11--2) Behind quarterback Casey Pachall (25 passing TDs in '11), the Horned Frogs will be in the hunt for the conference title in their first year in the Big 12.

Continue Story
1 2 3