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Athlon Sports Names West Virginia No. 12 in 2012 Preseason Top 25 Poll

Athlon Sports, publisher of the No. 1-selling college football magazine, continues the release of its preseason Top 25 poll at The countdown commences every year in early May and leads to the on-sale date of Athlon's category-leading college football preseason annuals.

To celebrate the West Virginia Mountaineers being named No. 12, will devote an entire day to the program, including a look at the Top 10 Players for 2012, the Greatest Players since 1967 and a Team Preview. (Direct links are included below.)

Dana Holgorsen’s West Virginia Mountaineers continue the countdown at No. 12 with two preseason All-Americans and seven players selected as All-Big 12 performers. Athlon Sports predicts West Virginia will finish third in the Big 12 Conference. In the five year period from 2007-11, Athlon Sports was one of the most accurate preseason magazines in prediction accuracy.*

“Heisman candidate Geno Smith and receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will lead a prolific passing attack once again,” says Athlon Sports Managing Editor Mitch Light. “Dana Holgorsen's familiarity with the Big 12 will be beneficial in adjusting to a new league, and the Mountaineers should be in the hunt for the Big 12 title.”

Two West Virginia standouts were named preseason All-Americans. Geno Smith was voted second-team quarterback, and Tavon Austin was named to the second team at the all-purpose position. In addition, the WVU quarterbacks unit was ranked No. 2 nationally and best in the Big 12. The wide receivers group was rated No. 3 in the country and tops in the conference.

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Seven Mountaineers earned preseason All-Big 12 honors, including Smith, wide receiver Stedman Bailey and Austin at both wide receiver and punt returner on the first team. Offensive lineman Joe Madsen, defensive back Terence Garvin and kick returner Tavon Austin were named to the second team, while offensive lineman Jeff Braun and defensive lineman Will Clarke garnered third-team honors.

West Virginia Team Preview

West Virginia's Top 10 Players of 2012

West Virginia’s 10 Greatest Players Since 1967

 * analysis of college football preseason publications.