2012 College Football preview: Super conferences ready to dominate?

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Matt-BarkleyThis year promises to be an exciting one in the NCAA. Gone are the insanely skilled leaders such as Robert Griffin the Third (RG3), Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck. Joe Paterno has passed (R.I.P. Great one) and Sandusky is on trail for his life with the most sinister smile since Cruella DeVille. Scandal has once again rocked the Southern California gridiron landscape, only this time its UCLA and not USC. Justin “P-Diddy” Combs is the scandal of the year now for accepting a scholarship – and just across the valley NFL bad boy Lane Kiffin is being praised as the savior of Los Angeles for his recruiting prowess. And these are just a few of the sub plots boiling underneath the surface of college football.

For those of you who have been sleeping under a rock during the first fiscal half of the year let me keep you abreast with the happenings around the nation. The super conferences are coming into fruition as Syracuse has gone to the ACC to join running mates BC, VTech and Miami and West Virginia has gone to the Big 12 (so… that leaves the Big East – where? ). Down in SEC country the old ball coach Steve Spurrier wants to pay his players to perform, and Bobby Petrino has been fired from powerhouse Arkansas for extra marital affairs with his co-worker (drama). Arkansas in turn hires the man’s brother to be their head coach. It’s safe to say that this year the NCAA will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before!

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Below are conference overviews of the Big 10. Big 12, ACC, SEC, Big East, and Pac 12:

Big 10

Penn State is still reeling from embarrassment stemming from the pedophilia accusations, so it’s difficult to predict exactly where the program will be this year. Ohio State’s inelgiblity neutralizes the arrival of Urban Meyer in their reconstruction process as the choir boy has too much mess to clean up in Columbus for his team to matter on the national scene. Nebraska, Michigan State and Wisconsin will all show some hunger in their quest for the crown, but the ultimate team to beat in the Big 10 is Michigan Wolverines. Nebraska is still adjusting, Russell Wilson is gone from the Badgers and Kirk Cousins from the Spartans – so competition isn’t as stiff as it was last year for the Maize and Blue. Denard Robinson is a Heisman hopeful – and he will show the college football world why.

Big 12

The Oklahoma Sooners continue to be the team to beat in the Big 12. Landry Jones returns to man the quarterback position and with Ryan Broyles gone and 3 more WR’s suspended, look for Oklahoma to re-commit to the power running game. The defense will be better with 8 starters back and Coach Stoops’ brother as defensive coordinator. West Virginia returns Geno Smith, and since crushing Clemson in the bowl game the Mountaineers looks to continue its dominance. Oklahoma State will also be a force, even though their star players from last year (Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden) are playing on Sundays. Kansas State and TCU will do some damage, but once again Oklahoma Sooners are just too good. Baylor, Texas, and Texas Tech are going to be just good enough to compete – but that’s about it.


LSU has a lot to prove. After going undefeated all of last year they lose in convincing fashion at home (Sugar Bowl) to the same Alabama team that they beat on the road (Tuscaloosa). Arkansas has the Bobby Petrino drama – but on the field they may be the most talented team in the conference. Florida is the most uncertain team in the conference. South Carolina has Georgia to face coming out of the East, and Texas A&M and Missouri are virgins to the conference – but once more conference dominance will come down to Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU. Look for the Tigers to lead the pack with the Honey Badger still on defense – and this team is also a pick to be in the National Championship Game. 


Florida State is the team that lots of people like in Tallahassee, but the team to beat is last year’s champion, Clemson Tigers. Clemson got embarrassed by West Virginia last year in the Orange Bowl and even though they dominated the ACC, there are too many weaknesses on defense to say they’ll win the conference undoubtedly. Virginia Tech has Logan Thomas returning and the defense is ready to play Beamer Ball. Georgia Tech, Virginia, and NC State are also teams not to be taken lightly in inner-conference play.

Big East

And now the worst conference in college football: the Big East. If there is ever a case of a conference being gutted like a fish, it’s the Big East. Teams we never thought would leave, like Syracuse and West Virginia, are gone like Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College before them. Seems that Pittsburgh is the last of the Mohicans. Unfortunately, dedication to the conference won’t translate into a championship – as Louisville, South Florida and Rutgers are all poised to have better years than Pittsburgh. South Florida and Louisville will duke it out for the title in the Big East… and that’s all of the excitement there is here.

Pac 12

Here’s another super conference attempting to counter SEC dominance. And to their defense, the Pac 12 just may do it. USC is back in contention for a title this year being eligible again – and they are the clear favorites to win the conference. Oregon Ducks and Stanford will fight for that distinction as well. Utah Utes, Arizona State and California Golden Bears will play a few good games along with the Washington Huskies – but we know this Pac 12 is a three-horse race. Lane Kiffin is going to make Los Angeles see images of Pete Carroll on the sidelines. Look for USC to contend for a national title as well. Other than that look for P-Diddy to be on the sidelines of UCLA games supporting his son, Justin Combs. He can’t stop. He won’t stop. Bad Boy for life!

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