A Way-Too-Early 2011 College Football Preseason Top-5 Look Ahead
January 11th, 2011- By Bryan Cross
The 2010-11 College Football season ended last night with the Auburn Tigers defeating the Oregon Ducks to win the BCS National Championship, the fifth-straight for the Southeastern Conference. It has been a landscape dominated by the SEC of late, with football in the south as big as ever.
Now that this season is over, there is only one thing left to do. Let’s look ahead to next season, it’s only a short nine months away.
Here is a quick look at the what the top-five preseason College Football poll could look like heading into that first weekend in September.
The Sooners likely bring back more of their talent from this season than any other, especially with the announcement that wide receiver Ryan Broyles opted to stay another season in Norman. That is great news for quarterback Landry Jones, who showed significant strides in his first full season as the starter for Bob Stoops, leading the Sooners to a Big XII Championship and a win over Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. They do lose running back DeMarco Murray, but have some young talent behind him to try and fill his void.
While the Crimson Tide lose quarterback Greg McElroy, running back Mark Ingram and wideout Julio Jones, head coach Nick Saban does not have his team in a rebuilding phase, merely a reloading phase. Saban has some young talent that he recruited awaiting their opportunity to shine in the Southeastern Conference. Trent Richardson gets the offensive backfield all to himself, and should be poised for a breakout season.
The Ducks bring back quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, either of which would be enough to keep them in the top-10. But having them both return along with head coach Chip Kelly, and the Ducks will be right back competing for a BCS National Championship. They lose leading receiver Jeff Maehl, but are pretty well-stocked at the receiver position. Plus the offensive system that Kelly runs should implement a bunch of new receivers to make up for production.
While the Cardinal lose starters on both sides of the ball, they retain quarterback, and likely Heisman Trophy front-runner Andrew Luck. Luck finished second in the Heisman voting this season behind Cam Newton, and looks to come back and pursue a national championship with Stanford, whomever their new coach may be after Jim Harbaugh departed for the NFL. Luckily for the Cardinal, Luck stayed, and as such, made this job a lot more appealing to whoever ends up taking the position.
5. Florida State
The Seminoles won 10 games this season, and might be poised for a national title run in 2011. The defense will be among the best in the country, and the recruiting class coming in has the potential to be down right scary. Jimbo Fisher has no problem playing freshman and big-time incomers Karlos Williams and James Wilder in the 2011 recruiting class will likely make the Seminoles the odds-on favorite to win the ACC. An early match up at home versus Oklahoma will go a long way in determining if Florida State is back on the national landscape.
College Football Betting Lines have installed Oklahoma as the betting favorite to win the 2012 BCS Championship at 5 to 1 game followed by Florida State and Florida at 8 to 1.