College Football Top 25 Prediction: Wins and Losses Prediction for Top Programs
It is still very early on, but you can never have enough College Football.
Each school has finished out recruiting and basically all have their rosters set for the 2011 season.
Auburn and Oregon look to respond to great 2010 seasons, while teams like Texas look to rebound after having a not so stellar season.
With seniors and underclassmen either graduating or entering the NFL Draft, a lot of these teams will have new looks and new starters at the skill positions this year.
Here is a listing of the Top 25 teams from the final week of the 2010 and their win/loss predictions for 2011.
25. NC State
After a rough stretch during the end of the regular season, NC State provided the critics something to look at with their win over No. 22 WVU in the Champs Bowl.
Senior Russell Wilson does not know whether or not he will play next season. He is currently playing baseball for the Colorado Rockies.
Each year, Wilson has had to make the decision whether to pursue one sport or the other.
He has played all three football seasons thus far, so I will assume he returns for his fourth and final one.
G.J. Kinne is the entire package.
Just as Wilson led the Wolfpack, so does Kinne lead the Golden Hurricanes of Tulane.
Kinne threw for over 3,600 yards and ran for another 561 while scoring 38 TD.
Tulsa ended 2010 with a convincing bowl win over Hawaii.
They look to improve and continue to be one of the best teams in the country.
In his first season at Maryland, Randy Edsall will have to show why he was selected to take over the position vacated by Ralph Friedgen.
After a rough 2008, Friedgen led the Terps to two great bounce back seasons, which included an ACC Coach of the Year award in 2010.
Friedgen also brought in Danny O'Brien, who happened to turn into the Rookie of the Year in the conference.
Maryland let go of Friedgen, citing lack of support as the main issue.
22. South Carolina
Freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore showed that he is one of the best RB in college football in only his first season on campus.
Lattimore's 19 TD was one of the tops in the country last season.
Stephen Garcia did not end the season well, throwing five INT in the last two games of the year.
South Carolina does have a top 25 recruiting class coming in that is led by Jadeveon Clowney, the top recruit in the country.
UCF literally ran right through their Conference USA schedule last year.
Their rushing attack was top 20 in the country.
The trio of Ronnie Weaver, Latavius Murray and Jeffrey Godfrey led the attack with over 2000 yards and a combined 31 TD.
All are returning. Godfrey must improve his passing game in order for UCF to take the next step.
Taylor Martinez and Nebraska leave the Big 12 for the Big 10 this season.
Martinez, who had a great start to the 2010, will have to shake off the rust and his poor play at the end of the season.
Nebraska will lose starting RB Roy Helu Jr., who ran for over 1200 yards.
The Cornhuskers should benefit from their top 15 recruiting class.
19. Texas A&M
Texas A&M had a very strong finish to the Big 12 regular season.
Ryan Tannehill emerged as the team's leader down the stretch run.
19 starters are retuning for the Aggies as they look to compete for a Big 12 Championship
Missouri had a stellar 2010 season, which was led by star QB Blaine Gabbert.
With Gabbert gone, the Tigers are going to have an open battle at the position.
It will be interesting to see how the veterans respond to a new QB, who may even be a freshman.
The good news for the new QB is that four of the five starting OL are returning.
17. Florida State
E.J. Manuel looks ready to take over the QB reigns at Florida State.
His performance helped FSU to an impressive win over South Carolina in the Chik-fil-A Bowl.
Rivals ranked FSU as having the No. 2 ranked recruiting class. The class is led by five star recruits James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams.
2011 should put FSU back on the top of the college football map once again.
16. Virginia Tech
Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans and Ryan Williams are all gone for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Together, the three contributed over 4,700 yards of offense and 44 TD.
On offense especially, VT will have plenty of holes to fill.
Look for David Wilson to have a breakout season now that he has the backfield to himself.
15. Mississippi State
The playmakers from Mississippi State are returning for the 2011 season.
To say their 2010 campaign was a surprise is an understatement.
All four losses came in the SEC to teams in the top 25.
Vick Ballard looks to have another great season. He had 19 TD last season.
14. Michigan State
Kirk Cousins leads the Michigan State Spartans into the 2011 looking to erase the embarrassing defeat to Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.
MSU dominated their Big 10 schedule, only losing to Iowa.
MSU also is returning their top two RBs, Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell, who combined for 21 TD last season.
13. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State had one of the most explosive offenses in the country last season.
The Cowboys were third in total yards per game, averaging over 520 yards per contest.
OSU is lead by QB Brandon Weeden, who had one of the best seasons for an OSU QB.
His top target, Justin Blackmon, is returning to school after catching 20 TD passes last season.
Tyler Wilson has some pretty big shoes to fill at Arkansas next season.
He will have to replace Ryan Mallett, one of the school's best QBs.
The good news for Wilson is that he will have Knile Davis to help him in the backfield and also has a good group of WR to throw the ball to.
With Colin Kaepernick going to the NFL, Nevada will have a very tough time improving on last year's season.
Along with Kaepernick, they also are losing RB Vai Taua who had 19 TD last season.
Do not expect the Wolf Pack to win, or perhaps contend, in the WAC this year.
Alabama lost a number of players to the NFL, including Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and Marcell Dareus.
A.J. McCarron is the lead candidate to take over for the departing Greg McElroy.
Alabama has the top recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. They are bringing in three five star recruits to combine with 22 returning starters.
9. Boise State
Boise State had one of the top offenses in the country last year.
They were led by Kellen Moore and Doug Martin on offense. Both are returning as the Broncos move to the Mountain West Conference in 2011.
Moore will be without his top two targets to throw to from last year.
Boise State is going to have some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball as well.
LSU has the potential to compete for the BCS Title in 2011.
It will all depend on how Jordan Jefferson plays...that's if he wins the QB battle.
LSU took its biggest hit on the defensive side of the ball with the loss of Patrick Peterson, one of the best players in college football last season.
Wisconsin will lose its starting QB and RB from 2010.
However, Montee Ball and James White are two capable replacements. White had a good freshman year.
The bigger shoes to fill will be Scoot Tolzien's and the offensive and defensive lines of the Badgers.
The Oklahoma Sooners may be the favorite to win the BCS Title in 2011.
QB Landry Jones, who led the Sooners to five straight wins and a Fiesta Bowl victory at the end of the season, returns to the team.
Brandon Williams and Trey Metoyer come in as five star recruits and should be able to step in right away.
Williams will have to replace DeMarco Murray.
5. Ohio State
Ohio State has one of the most talented teams in the country.
The question will be whether or not they can last playing the first five games without Terrelle Pryor and four other starters.
The five are suspended for five games by the NCAA in the ongoing Jim Tressel saga.
The fifth ranked defense will lose a few players to the NFL. Their defense must step up, especially in the first five games while Pryor is out.
Andrew Luck will return for his senior season after many thought he could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Luck will be the Heisman favorite heading into the season.
He led Stanford to its best season in awhile. Their only hiccup was a loss to the BCS runner-up Oregon.
Like a lot of the other explosive teams on this list, the Oregon Ducks are returning their QB and RB.
Darron Thomas led the Oregon attack that was ranked first in points scored in 2010.
LaMichael James was one of football's best RB. He ran for over 1,700 yards and had 21 TD.
De'Anthony Thomas and Colt Lyerla highlight the Ducks' top 10 recruiting class.
After a big win in the Rose Bowl, TCU looks to win another Mountain West Title.
They will be without a number of starters, including QB Andy Dalton.
New QB Casey Pachall has thrown only nine career passes. The sophomore will likely determine whether TCU can have another undefeated season or not.
Michael Dyer will have to go from being the freshman to being the team leader for Auburn.
After Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and several other starters left for the NFL, Auburn will have to mend their roster on-the-go.
They still have the talent to compete in the SEC. They also have a top 10 recruiting class coming in as well.
Freshman QB Kiehl Frazier is a candidate to replace Cam Newton.