Trojans garner 9 of 16 first-place votes
DALLAS (FWAA) – If the 2012 Grantland Rice Super 16 Preseason Poll is correct, the Southeastern Conference will finish out of the top spot for the first time since 2005 and USC will win its sixth Football Writers Association of America national championship.
The Trojans, who had to vacate their 2004 FWAA title because of the use of an ineligible player, received 261 poll points and nine first-place votes to outdistance second-place LSU (247). The Tigers, who received four first-place votes, were followed by defending national champion Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon in the preseason poll conducted among veteran FWAA members.
The powerful SEC has five teams in the Super 16 (LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina). The Big Ten has four teams, the Big 12 three, the ACC two and the Pac-12 two, including the Trojans.
USC has won FWAA titles in 1962, 1967, 1972, 1974 and 2003. The Trojans were ineligible to participate for the 2010 Grantland Rice Trophy. Oklahoma was predicted to win the trophy last season, but Alabama, No. 2 in the FWAA’s preseason poll, won the title.
Texas, in 2005, was the last team outside the SEC to claim the Grantland Rice Trophy. Since then Florida (2006, 2008); Alabama (2009, 2011); LSU (2007) and Auburn (2010) have won the FWAA’s national title.