Just like in the pre-season coaches poll, UCLA is ranked ahead of Southern Cal in the 2012 AP Pre-season poll. The AP released its pre-season ranking earlier this am. It looks the same for us - as for the first time since 1999 UCLA is ranked (number 21) is ahead of Southern Cal (number 24).
UCLA is the highest ranked program among the Pac-12 Southern contingent, confirming what appears to be almost near unanimous national (and conference) expectations for a Bruin appearance in the Pac-12 championship game for the third straight season. Here is how the rankings shape up.
|2||Ohio State (1)||0-0||1,365||NR|
|Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami (FL) 85, Arizona State 53, Kansas State 43, Fresno State 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, Northern Illinois 16, Mississippi 11, Utah State 8, Georgia Tech 6, North Carolina 3, Arizona 3, Cincinnati 3, Penn State 2, Brigham Young 1|
Oregon is the highest ranked team from the Pac-12 at no. 3. Stanford follows at no. 4. Oregon State is the only other Pac-12 program at no. 25. The top-lines from SBN's mothership:
Alabama finished the 2012 season as the unanimous leader of the Associated Press poll, which has not been a part of the BCS for nearly a decade. In 2003, the BCS formula kept USC, the top team in the final AP poll of the regular season, out of the national championship game to the great chagrin of AP voters. The next season, with three undefeated teams stoking further BCS controversy, the Associated Press removed its poll from BCS consideration.
There are plenty of questions for the nation's top teams to answer. The Ohio State Buckeyes, who start the season ranked second after finishing 2012 at #3, have coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Braxton Miller, but also have to handle the indefinite suspension of running back Carlos Hyde and replace six starters in the defensive front seven.
As mentioned previously, none of this pre-season ranking stuff will matter much if the Bruins don't get off to a solid start in two weekends. Just one more Saturday to go.