College Football Top 25: A Very Premature Look at The Top 25 Teams For 2011

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College Football Top 25: A Very Premature Look at The Top 25 Teams For 2011
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

2011 looks to be another good year for the SEC. That is hardly a surprise, as the boys from the deep south have won the national championship five years in a row.

However, despite the loss of Nebraska and Colorado, the Big 12 will look to challenge the SEC for next season's most competitive conference.

Meanwhile, the ACC looks to be up from last season, while the Big Ten and Pac-10 look to be decidedly down in their first years of two divisions.

The Big East and the Mountain West are in something of a state of flux, and the surprise conference of the year might be Conference USA.

Of course, with competition comes very good teams knocking each other off. In the end, the two best teams are not always the teams that compete for the national title. The two best teams with the best records typically vie for the crystal football.

That said, top 25 lists are a tricky business. Are they based on who is the best team? Are they based on who projects to have the best record? Is it based on how one thinks the list will end up, or how one thinks it should be at any point in time? Is there some combination of all of these criteria?

In my case, I tried to take all of it into consideration.

Obviously, this is complicated by the fact that a lot can and will change between now and late August, let alone between August and December. With so many players declaring for the NFL draft—53—quite a bit has changed in the last few weeks.

Nevertheless, as of now, Jan. 17, 2011, this is how I see it.

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