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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover 2012: Will Kate Upton Grace The Front? (PHOTOS)

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Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue is --thank God-- set to drop on February 14th, but that hasn't stopped the Internet from buzzing with speculation on who will nab the coveted cover spot.

Outlets like Fox News and the Las Vegas Sun are currently speculating that 19-year-old newcomer Kate Upton will land the honors; the blonde beauty from Michigan made her debut in last year's issue alongside cover girl Irina Shayk.

The fever pitch for bikini'ed beauties has even spread to the cold Northeast; the New York Daily News just launched a massive slideshow of all the contenders.

And obviously we're all concerned with which hot models will grace the pages, but the 2012 issue is already making waves for forsaking exotic locales like St. Barts in order to shoot one of its sexy bikini spreads in the quaint town of Apalachicola, Fla.

This year's cover will be unveiled on Feb. 13 on the David Letterman show, and will be available on newsstands the next day. We have a hunch Kate just might be the cover girl!

In the meantime, whet your swimsuit whistle with Kate's SI pic from last year, as well as our slideshow of ALL the SI Swimsuit Issue covers below (going back to 1955!).

Scroll down for more photos.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Covers Through The Years
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