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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM

So, everyone is asking the million-dollar question when it comes to the here-before-you-know NCAA Football Season...Will the SEC win a seventh consecutive BCS National Championship?

According to the season-opening Associated Press Top 25 poll, the answer is "no"!

As you've likely seen sometime since last Saturday morning when the AP Top 25 poll was first announced, the USC Trojans sit on top to start out things - in a moment we'll hand out Jim Sez one-line comments to all of the Top 25 teams plus we have some NFL Preseason Week 3 Friday night action to examine but first this key reminder:

The start of the 2012 NCAA Football Seasons is now just one week away - yes, the college kids swing into play for real next Thursday, August 30th with some key games including the ESPN tilt between South Carolina at Vanderbilt plus the ESPN night-cap tilt between Washington State at BYU: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be on top of things right from the start and we'll continue to bang out the NFL Preseason Winners this summer too and so make sure to cash in with all the gridiron action beginning with tonight's NFL tilts in Cincinnati, Baltimore and Tennessee and remember you can sign up now for all the 2012 action... so don't delay! Make sure to check in with us on game days either right here online or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the NFL Preseason Winners, the upcoming NCAA Football Games plus get all the daily and nightly Major-League Baseball winners too.

 

THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT: IT'S THE PRESEASON AP TOP 25

  1. USC - The Men of Troy are absolutely loaded with a Heisman Trophy hopeful in QB Matt Barkley but might SC have to dunk the Oregon Ducks twice this year just to get to a BCS title game?

  2. ALABAMA - The Tide's been rollin' ever since Nick Saban arrived in 2007 and now defending champs must show they can cover downfield as SEC foes must chuck it to beat ‘Bama.

  3. LSU - Way too much is being made of the new quarterback talk ‘round Baton Rouge as Bengals' whole season likely comes down to Nov. 3 home tilt vs. Alabama... who else?

  4. OKLAHOMA - Boomer Sooners may get major break by not having to play in a conference title tilt and we'll see if QB Landry Jones can grit out some away wins against Texas and TCU.

  5. OREGON - High-octane Pac-12 squad is still the most fun team in the land but sometimes you have to make a big stand on "D" and not sure Ducks can slow down fellow grade-A offenses.

  6. GEORGIA - The Dawgs are banking on veteran QB Aaron Murray taking that "next step" but doesn't pedestrian ground game have to improve too?

  7. FLORIDA STATE - Post-Bobby Bowden Era has featured 19 wins the past two years in Tallahassee but no January bowls and that's gotta change here-and-now for the Sems.

  8. MICHIGAN - Gut feeling is the maize-and-blue will let QB Denard Robinson run and pass the ball 200-plus times again but we wanna see downfield guys make some big plays too!

  9. SOUTH CAROLINA - The Gamecocks have the folks to win SEC East this year but "ole ball coach" Steve Spurrier will keep fingers crossed that RB Marcus Lattimore stays healthy

  10. ARKANSAS... Sayonara to bad boy head coach Bobby Petrino but he sure left behind a stocked cupboard that includes Heisman hopeful QB Tyler Wilson.

  11. WEST VIRGINIA... The move to the Big 12 could be a real blessing in disguise for the ‘Neers who already may have conference's best passing attack

  12. WISCONSIN... The Badgers' RB Montee Ball dented the end zone an amazing 33 times last year and similar numbers could get Wisky another Big 10 crown.

  13. MICHIGAN STATE… Last year Sparty finished ranked in the top 11 nationally in the four major defensive categories (scoring/rushing/passing/total) and could have similar showing here.

  14. CLEMSON... Let's just say if Tigers can win their first two games without suspended WR/KR Sammy Watkins, they could march right back to another BCS bowl come the New Year.

  15. TEXAS... Wouldn't it be something if ‘Horn quarterbacks struggle again and transfer Garrett Gilbert (now at SMU) shines? Just sayin'!

  16. VIRGINIA TECH... Hard to believe that last year "Beamerball" only produced one block and no doubt "specials" have to get better or ACC crown is simply out of the question

  17. NEBRASKA... Year Two inside the Big 10 could be a real blast for Big Red if only QB Taylor Martinez plays with more swag

  18. OHIO STATE... Everyone's watching what Urban Meyer does for probation-ridden Buckeyes but better believe passing attack will rank higher than 115th nationally this year!

  19. OKLAHOMA STATE... Off the beaten path, how about the fact the Cowpokes are 19-7 spreadwise these past two years? Cha-ching!

  20. TCU - New kids on the Big 12 block have something to prove after feasting in bad leagues the last few years.

  21. STANFORD... Life after QB Andrew Luck likely includes no January bowl game but RB Stepfan Taylor could motor way into Heisman chase real soon.

  22. KANSAS STATE... Last year's Wildcats won six games in outright upset fashion and so what can Bill Snyder's crew do for an encore?

  23. FLORIDA... It didn't take long for second-year boss Will Muschamp to discover what the "hot seat" is all about in Gator-land.

  24. BOISE STATE... Here's the Broncos' immediate forecast: Beat TD fav Michigan State next Friday and you might be talking undefeated year come November.

  25. LOUISVILLE... Hey, the Big East got one team into the AP Top 25 but truth is Charlie Strong's squad has loaded team and QB Teddy Bridgewater is fun to watch.

 

NFL PRESEASON WEEK 3 - CHECKING OUT SOME FRIDAY NIGHT GAMES

There are six (6) games on the NFL Preseason Week 3 docket on this next-to-last Friday night in August and here's some of what we're looking at:

ATLANTA (0-2) at MIAMI (0-2) - 7:30 p.m. ET
Don't fret the fact that both of these teams are winless this summer while also going a collective 0-4 ATS (against the spread) as the real story here is how will rookie QB Ryan Tannehill play after just being named the Fish's starting signal-caller?

If you've been catching the HBO series Hard Knocks than you know the Miami coaches absolutely love Tannehill's leadership skills even though he hardly was a sensation in last week's 23-17 loss at Carolina (see 11-of-23 passing for 100 yards with 0 TDs and 0 INTs).

The Falcons, on the other hand, have moved the ball exceedingly well with their first-team offense this summer as QB Matt Ryan (18-of-21 for 174 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs in last Thursday's 24-19 loss to Cincinnati) has been razor-sharp and how about the fact he's looking for more long-ball strikes so far?

Watch for WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White (they combined for seven receptions last week) as they figure to be running some deep routes here in South Beach.

SAN DIEGO (2-0) at MINNESOTA (1-1) - 8 p.m. ET
No doubt that the fates-and-fortunes of this year's Vikings team rests with still-rehabbing RB Adrian Peterson who may or may not be ready for the team's season-opening bash against Jacksonville on the afternoon of September 9th but till he makes it back from his reconstructive knee surgery this NFC North crew needs second-year QB Christian Ponder to "spread the wealth" among the pass-catchers as he did in last week's 36-14 late runaway win against Buffalo.

Hey, Ponder completed 10-of-13 passes for 136 yards and he nailed eight different receivers in a three-possession appearance last week - is there more good stuff to come here against a San Diego team that (for once) has taken the preseason seriously now that head coach Norv Turner's head is on the chopping block.

CHICAGO (1-1) at NEW YORK GIANTS (1-1) - 8 p.m. ET, CBS
National TV tilt from MetLife Stadium where the defending Super Bowl champion Giants have grown quite tired of the "hazing" questions - re: Jason Pierre-Paul "dunking" Prince Amukamura in one of the stupidest clubhouse acts we've ever seen! - and so the focus now is on how the aforementioned Pierre-Paul (two sacks in last Saturday's 26-3 win against the New York Jets) and Company handle a Bears' O-line that is feeling extra pressure to protect QB Jay Cutler.

Plus keep an eye here on Giants rookie RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech) who's been bumped up the depth chart this week after his ordinary 8-carry, 26-yard rushing performance last weekend. If Wilson can make a couple of eye-catching plays - and starter Ahmad Bradshaw stays injury-prone - than the V-Tech alum could be a Week One starter.

NOTE: There's more NFL News & Notes from this 2012 Preseason in the very next edition of Jim Sez.

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