Now that the LSU-Alabama game is over a week old, it's time to start thinking about the 2012 college football season, even if it's still nine months away.
The SBNation BlogPoll, which combines the opinions of a wide spectrum of team-specific bloggers, has an early pre-season top 25 out.
USC, thanks to the return of Matt Barkley, is at No. 1, followed by LSU, Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma. TCU, in their first season of Big 12 play, checks in at No. 13, while Texas is at No. 19.
The Longhorns and Horned Frogs are two of five Big 12 teams in the top 25. Both trail Oklahoma, who has Landry Jones returning for seemingly his eighth year of eligibility.
Kansas State comes in at No. 18, while Oklahoma State, fresh off the best season in program history, is at No. 23, as the Cowboys have to figure out how to replace Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. In a sign of how much Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III meant to Baylor in terms of national perception, the Bears slipped into the others receiving votes category.
SMU, despite going to their their consecutive bowl game under June Jones, was shut out of the pre-season balloting completely, although they will have a chance to make an early statement, with games against Texas A&M, Baylor and TCU in the first five weeks of the season.
And while preseason rankings may seem meaningless, they give an invaluable leg up to higher ranked teams as the season begins, as pollsters are notoriously reluctant to "jump" teams in the polls.