With college football just around the corner, teams and coaches are preparing for their respective seasons with training camps in full swing. But let's face it: no matter how hard they train, some teams will simply be better than others --regardless of preseason rankings.
The first USA Today coaches poll was released today, ranking the USC Trojans at No. 3 behind the LSU Tigers (1) and Alabama Crimson Tide (2). Interestingly enough, last year's top two squads faced each other in the championship game; this is the second time since 1998 that this has been the case.
USC had more first-place votes (19) than any other program, including the top-ranked Tigers. Currently, the Trojans sit in third in this year's initial poll with 1,388 points.
It should be noted that the ballot votes were submitted before top running back Silas Redd, a transfer from Penn State, announced his decision to attend USC. If the balloting had been processed after Redd joined USC, the Trojans could have easily been ranked No. 1 in the poll. Redd takes part of a prolific offense that features Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Matt Barkley, wide receiver Robert Woods and tailback Curtis McNeal, a fifth-year senior. McNeal rushed for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns in 145 carries last season.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Oklahoma, with one first place vote, followed by Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, South Carolina and Arkansas. Overall, the Pac-12 is represented by USC, Oregon and Stanford.
For more information on 2012's first college football coaches poll, click here.