College Fantasy Football: Way-Too-Early 2011 Quarterback Rankings

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College Fantasy Football: Way-Too-Early 2011 Quarterback Rankings
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East Carolina QB Dominique Davis

The long, cold winter has definitely settled in: 23 degrees, drifting snow. Continually lacing up the ol' Sorel Caribous. Undaunted by the fact that we have not seen the sun in about 26 days, we press on with a watchful eye on the 2011 college fantasy football season.

Now that the underclassmen have declared their intentions, we have a pretty good sense for the talent pool returning. So we put together what we affectionately call our "Way Too Early" 2011 player rankings.

Please understand there is a reason for the title. It is a first glance at the 2011 prospects. A gut feel. We have not fully analyzed returning o-lineman for each school. We have not yet plugged in the incoming stud recruits (signing day is February 2nd). We did not account for all of the new coaching changes, and we have not taken a peek at the upcoming fall schedules.  All of that will come with due time. 

We'll release one article per position per day. Here's the schedule:

Friday, January 21 - Quarterbacks
Monday, January 24 - Running Backs
Tuesday, January 25 - Wide Receivers
Wednesday, January 26 - Tight Ends & Kickers

We are going to pass on defensive rankings until later this spring. So, without further adieu, let us dive into the quarterbacks!

"Way Too Early" 2011 Quarterback Rankings

For the first time in a while, there probably is not a true consensus preseason No. 1 college fantasy QB (as we sit here in January).  Houston's Case Keenum is clinging onto our top spot for the moment, but he is coming off an ACL injury—a worrisome trait for someone residing in our poll position.

If you're a glass half-empty kind of guy, there are holes to punch in the fantasy prospects of both Tulsa's G.J. Kinne and East Carolina's Dominique Davis.  Kinne's head coach jumped ship for Pitt, while Dom lost his leading receiver as well as four offensive linemen.

Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon are both surprisingly back in the fold in Stillwater.  But the guy who masterminded their dramatic offensive rise in 2010, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, left for Morgantown. As of this writing, head coach Mike Gundy has yet to name a new OC, although it is widely assumed they are going to try to keep the same offensive system in place. Easier said than done.

Hawaii gunslinger Bryant Moniz loses just about everyone around him—eight offensive starters including WR Greg Salas, WR Kealoha Pilares and RB Alex Green. Can the Rainbow Warriors slap together a decent o-line and find a fresh new set of receivers in time for September?

NC State's Russell Wilson will spend another offseason figuring out whether he will take to the diamond or remain on the gridiron. Something tells me he might opt for baseball this time around.

Since Michigan dumped RichRod, Denard Robinson becomes a tough guy to rank. If new head coach Brady Hoke decides to keep Shoelace in a similar offensive system, he'll shoot up our rankings. If there is any uncertainty, well then, D-Rob becomes a risky proposition. Spring should be very interesting in Ann Arbor.

Other QB questions to chew on

* Can North Western's Dan Persa return from a late season Achilles' tendon injury? 

* What will the Boise State passing game look like without star wideouts Austin Pettis and Titus Young?

* Can BYU's Jake Heaps build upon his monster bowl game to become a viable fantasy QB?

* Will Seth Doege win the Texas Tech starting gig?

* What new twists and turns will we find in the Taylor Martinez soap opera? If you could guarantee us that he would be healthy and controversy-free in 2011, we would rank T-Magic much higher than where he currently sits.

* Who will Western Michigan's Alex Carder throw the ball to this fall? Trusty wideouts Juan Nunez and Jordan White are no more in Kalamazoo. Ditto for San Diego State's Ryan Lindley.

* Will Year 2 of the Sonny Dykes Project at La Tech go smoother than last year's disaster?  We expected fireworks and were treated to a fizzled out sparkler instead.

* With Blaine Gabbert off to greener pastures, will newbie James Franklin be able to step in and produce right away at Mizzou?  His supporting cast is outstanding.

* Can new OC Dana Holgorsen transform West Virginia's Geno Smith into a fantasy stud?

* Will senior-to-be Tyler Lantrip be able to even remotely resemble Colin Kaepernick in Reno? Or will host-shot youngster Cody Fajardo get a few reps in Coach Ault's Pistol offense?

* Who wins the quarterback battle in South Bend this spring? It should be fun watching Tommy Rees and Dayne Crist duke it out.

* Can Georgia-transfer Zach Mettenberger steal the LSU starting job out from under incumbent Jordan Jefferson?

Whew! There is certainly a lot to ponder as we head into the spring. Here is how we stack up the signal callers for the time being.'s "Way Too Early" 2011 Quarterback Rankings

1 Case Keenum Houston returning from ACL injury
2 GJ Kinne Tulsa lost HC Todd Graham to Pitt, but talent returns
3 Dominique Davis ECU loses four o-linemen and WR Dwayne Harris
4 Landry Jones Oklahoma offense loaded, Broyles is back
5 Robert Griffin Baylor nine offensive starters return
6 Austin Davis Southern Miss nine offensive starters return
7 Brandon Weeden Oklahoma St. OC Dana Holgorsen gone, Blackmon returns
8 Bryant Moniz Hawaii loses eight offensive starters
9 Ryan Aplin Arkansas St. skill players return, old OC is new HC
10 Darron Thomas Oregon loses three o-linemen and WR Jeff Maehl
11 Kyle Padron SMU 10 starters return, but Aldrick Robinson is lost
12 Russell Wilson NC State weighing his options with baseball
13 Dan Persa Northwestern Achilles' injury recovery is huge concern
14 Nick Foles Arizona WR Juron Criner returns but four o-lineman are gone
15 Denard Robinson Michigan could be ranked much higher if utilized same way
16 Andrew Luck Stanford only four starters back on offense
17 Geno Smith West Virginia OC Daa Holgerson should help, foot surgery in Jan.
18 Kellen Moore Boise State loses both WRs Austin Pettis and Titus Young
19 Chandler Harnish No. Illinois nine offensive starters return, but RB Spann is gone
20 Alex Carder W. Michigan interior o-line is lost, WR Nunez and Jordan White gone
21 Bryan Ellis UAB solid line returns, as does RB Pat Shedd
22 Chris Relf Mississippi St. was a monster in final three games
23 Taylor Martinez Nebraska the soap opera continues.  High risk, high reward
24 Tyler Wilson Arkansas   should fill in admirably for Mallett
25 Zach Collaros Cincinnati in for a bounce-back year?
26 Jeffrey Godfrey UCF can he avoid the sophomore slump?
27 Nate Scheelhaase Illinois lots of talent is gone, including LeShoure
28 Tim Jefferson Air Force 769 rushing yards, 15 rush TDs in 2010
29 Seth Doege Texas Tech would be ranked higher if we knew he was starter
30 Kolton Browning UL-Monroe dual threat had a nice freshmen year
31 Matt Barkley USC fizzled in second half of season after strong start
32 Dayne Crist Notre Dame if clear cut starter emerges, would be ranked higher
33 Corey Robinson Troy finished strong—1,000 yards in final three outings
34 Ryan Lindley San Diego St. lost HC Brady Hoke, plus WRs Brown and Sampson
35 Zac Dysert Miami, Ohio can he win job back from Boucher?
36 Ryan Radcliff C. Michigan threw for 3,358 yards in first year as starter
37 Terrelle Pryor Ohio State five-game suspension is a killer
38 Kriss Proctor Navy showed flashes as backup to Ricky Dobbs
39 Tyler Bray Tennessee had a promising freshman year to build upon
40 Jake Heaps BYU strong final five games, huge bowl game
41 James Franklin Missouri rushing threat, lots of weapons to work with
42 John Brantley Florida  Charlie Weis could help Brantley outif he's the starter
43 Stephen Garcia South Carolina Lattimore and Alson Jeffrey return to help
44 Ross Jenkins La Tech lots of competition for job, first year was a bust
45 Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M filled in nicely for Jerrod Johnson
46 Aaron Murray Georgia Loses AJ Green
47 Steven Threet Arizona State Brock Osweiler will battle him for job
48 Taylor McHargue Rice whoever wins Rice job is a sleeper to watch
49 Tevin Washington Georgia Tech great rushing QB with lots of upside
50 EJ Manuel Florida State showed glimpses past couple seasons

BJ Daniels USF terrible bust in 2010.  can he bounce back?
52 Alex Gillett E. Michigan capable of huge games, but is wildly inconsistent
53 Austin Dantin Toledo had some nice games before injury
54 Jordan Wynn Utah solid but unspectacular
55 Kirk Cousins Michigan St. only three games of 20+ fantasy points in 2010
56 Sean Renfree Duke inconsistent sophomore year, nice potential
57 Garrett Gilbert Texas   huge question mark after disastrous 2010 season
58 Trent Steelman Army five games of 20+ fantasy points in 2010
59 Chris Masson UL-Lafayette four games of 20+ fantasy points, missed four with injury
60 Jordan Jefferson LSU with RB Ridley gone, will he be asked to do more?
61 Danny O'Brien Maryland loses stud WR Torrey Smith, coach Edsall in place
62 Rob Henry Purdue dual threat who finished strong in last two games
63 Matt McGloin Penn State will battle Paul Jones and Rob Bolden for job
64 Phil Bates Ohio   great runner, needs to work on his passing
65 Tyler Lantrip Nevada replacing Colin Kaepernick will be impossible
66 Jacory Harris Miami, FL new coaching staff, Stephen Morris could win job
67 MarQueis Gray Minnesota has all the tools to be a star, will he be QB or WR?
68 Collin Klein Kansas State running QB who will need to improve passing game
69 Pete Thomas Colorado State deep sleeper with some upside
70 Ryan Katz Oregon State only had one 20+ fantasy point game in 2010
71 Mike Gerardi Temple had some nice games down the stretch
72 Ryan Griffin Tulane played well against weak teams on schedule
73 Chas Dodd Rutgers QB Tom Savage is transferring
74 Brock Mansion Cal Shane Vereen is gone, but eight starters return
75 Tino Sunseri Pittsburgh could Todd Graham turn him into a stat machine?
76 Jeff Tuel Washington St. threw for 2,780 yards and 18 TDS
77 Jerry Davis Buffalo battled Alex Zordich for time last fall
78 AJ McCarron Alabama Philip Sims battling for job
79 Taj Boyd Clemson finally, Kyle Parker is gone and the job is his
80 Ryan Nassib Syracuse had a surprisingly good 2010 campaign
81 Matt Schilz Bowling Green WR Kamar Jorden returns to help out
82 Casey Pachall TCU tough to replace Andy Dalton
83 Jon Budmayr Wisconsin Curt Phillips will fight for starting job
84 Wesley Carroll Florida Int'l TY Hilton returns to help out
85 Logan Kilgore Middle Tenn unenviable task of replacing Dwight Dasher
86 Tommy Rees Notre Dame whoever wins ND QB job should do well in year two
87 Austin Boucher Miami, Ohio will battle Dysert for starting job
88 Mike Glennon NC State will jump way up if Russell Wilson plays baseball
89 David Piland Houston waiting in wings if Keenum is not 100 percent
90 Kawaun Jakes W. Kentucky spot starter at best
91 Tyler Hansen Colorado    had a few decent outings before rupturing spleen
92 Spencer Keith Kent State inconsistent.  Had two nice games and five terrible ones
93 Nathan Stanley Ole Miss with Jeremiah Masoli gone, the job should be his
94 Terrance Owens Toledo will battle Austin Dantin for starting gig
95 Jerome Tiller Iowa State Austen Arnaud and Alexander Robinson depart
96 Jordan Webb Kansas   had a disappointing 2010 season
97 Patrick Nicely Akron four decent outings to go along with 8 awful ones
98 Logan Thomas Virginia Tech replaces Tyrod Taylor
99 Caleb Herring UNLV hopes to replace Omar Clayton
100 Stephen Morris Miami, FL could unseat Jacory Harris as the starter

Todd DeVries is the founder of, your premier destination for all things college fantasy football.

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