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.

The 2012 Grantland Rice Trophy will be awarded by a vote of selected board members and past presidents of the association after the Discover BCS National Championship Game. It will be presented to the FWAA's national champion the morning after the BCS title game in South Florida.

The Grantland Rice Trophy, given to college football's national champion since 1954, is named in memory of the legendary sportswriter. It was the first national championship award presented after college football's postseason.

While the FWAA will not conduct a weekly poll this season, it will present the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week each Monday, as selected by a panel of select FWAA members. This marks the 11th season the FWAA will present a team of the week.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football
for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists,
as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works
to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America
team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at or 972-713-6198.