- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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It's never too early for a preseason college football poll.
ESPN's "College Football Live" has released its preseason poll for the 2012 season. I was one of the voters along with Edward Aschoff, better known to most on this blog as the ATL Kid.
I can already hear the squealing from other parts of the country about how preseason polls are biased and that the SEC has a huge advantage ... blah, blah, blah.
We'll let everybody else debate that. The bottom line is that the SEC is getting a lot of love for the 2012 season. Five SEC teams are in the top 10 of the "College Football Live" poll, led by LSU at No. 2. USC is the No. 1 team overall.
Here's a look at the six SEC teams that made the Top 25:
No. 2: LSU
No. 3: Alabama
No. 6: Georgia
No. 8: South Carolina
No. 9: Arkansas
No. 25: Florida
I'm a little surprised that five SEC teams are in the top 10. Most of us turned in our ballots prior to Bobby Petrino's ouster at Arkansas. While I'm not bailing on the Hogs, I probably would have dropped them out of the top 10 to start the season had I voted after the Petrino scandal hit. Then again, the Hogs are a talented, determined bunch and do get both Alabama and LSU in Fayetteville this season.
Georgia seems a little high at No. 6. I think the Bulldogs will be very good, and they're my pick to win the Eastern Division this season. But I don't know that they're the sixth best team in the country. To me, Georgia and South Carolina are just about dead even. Both teams should be nasty on defense again, and both teams have experienced go-to players on offense. At the end of the day, the Bulldogs have the best chance to get to Atlanta because they have the easier schedule and don't have to play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU.
Finally, I'm higher on Florida than most people. Will Muschamp feels better about this team's toughness, its ability to play the brand of physical football that he wants to play, and I also think the defense has a chance to be outstanding.
And, hey, what about me having the Gators ranked higher than the Kid?
Here's a look at our ballots:
4. West Virginia
7. Florida State
10. South Carolina
12. Kansas State
13. Michigan State
14. Virginia Tech
18. Boise State
21. Oklahoma State
7. Michigan State
8. West Virginia
9. South Carolina
11. Florida State
13. Kansas State
17. Virginia Tech
19. Oklahoma State
21. Boise State
22. Ohio State
24. Notre Dame
"College Football Live" began counting down the preseason top 20 on Monday and will continue doing so with analysis of each team's strengths and weaknesses. Join Kirk Herbstreit and other ESPN college football analysts each day at 3:30 p.m. ET.
21hAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
7dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough