Andrew Luck for Stanford will have plenty to celebrate in 2011.
It is never too early to start thinking about college football and speculate on which teams will crack the top 25 preseason poll. This article will take a look at the top 25 based on returning quarterbacks, breaking down either the experience or potential the 2011 class offers.
Andrew Luck highlights the 2011 class. Luck was certain to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2011 draft, and with a solid performance this fall, he could be looking at a similar situation in 2012.
Although, Stephen Garcia spends most of his time in Steve Spurrier's doghouse. The quarterback from Florida has shown plenty of potential but has never quite cemented himself as the man in Columbia. His job is never too safe while Spurrier is in control of the offense. If he can get rid of the ball early, like Spurrier prefers and make good decisions, the Gamecocks are in a position to be better in 2011.
Tyler Wilson takes over for Bobby Petrino's explosive offense in 2011. With a strong arm and great mechanics, Wilson is certain to see plenty of success. The defenses of the SEC will have something to say about that, and Wilson may take some bruises as he finds his way as a starter.
Ryan Tannehill took over for a struggling Jerod Johnson in 2010, and the Aggies never looked back. He will have a lot of weight on his shoulders this fall as the number one guy, and Johnson is certain to push to get his job back. If he can show promise and progress, the Aggies could compete for the Big XII championship.
Nathan Sheelhaase has one year of experience under his belt and will look to build on the promise he showed in 2010 as the Illini attempt to compete with the rest of the Big Ten.
Kirk Cousins and Michigan State will have a lot to prove after they were dismantled by Alabama last bowl season. If the Spartans can have a lot of the same luck they had in 2010, they should have no trouble competing in the Big Ten. Cousins has plenty of weapons on the roster to have continued success in 2011.
Brandon Weeden will have a new offensive coordinator in 2011, and replacing Dana Holgerson will not be easy. Weeden has show the ability to make the big throws, and if the new offense takes advantage of his strengths, the Cowboys will be a solid top 25 team.
Tyler Bray has a big league arm and has everyone in Knoxville finally excited about a football season. Bray gives the Vols plenty of opportunity in 2011. Although managing to stay in the top 25 will be a battle all season with a tough schedule, they are certain to be much better in 2011.
Arizona is ready to compete for the Pac 10, and with John Harbaugh moving to the NFL, the Pac 10 might be theirs for the taking. How does that happen? Nick Foles. Foles will have to finally come through as a big time quarterback and be consistent for the Wildcats to have continued success in 2011.
One of the best things new Terps coach Randy Edsall has done thus far is keeping Danny O'Brien on the roster. With the new staff, O'Brien should have continued success in 2011. O'Brien was a solid quarterback last season and has the potential to make Edsall's first year at Maryland a successful one.
Jake Heaps will look to lead BYU to even further success in 2011. With a pocket full of experience and talent to spare, Heaps will carry BYU on his back in 2011.
Aaron Murray may be the best passing quarterback you have never heard of. Well, unless you are in the SEC. Murray has an NFL arm and will look to bring Georgia back to the elite of the SEC. Murray has the arm strength of fellow Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford, but with less of a gun slinger mentality.
John Brantley showed little in 2010 to offer promise. However, with Charlie Weis showing up in Gainesville, the one time Gatorade Player of the Year will have plenty to prove and only one year to do so.
Matt Barkley was destined to be the best quarterback of all time, or is that just all USC quarterbacks? Barkley has all the weapons and will have a lot of talent around him to lead the Trojans back to the promise land.
Dayne Crist will start the season as the starter, and if he stays healthy, it will be his job to lose. Notre Dame will have enough favors on the schedule to stay in the top 25, and if they can pull off an upset or two, they will be in position to make a strong run in 2011.
The next few choices are all so close and so similar they can easily be switched in and out of each other.
11. Darron Thomas: Oregon
10. Denard Robinson: Michigan
9. Clint Moseley: Auburn
8. Jordan Jefferson: LSU
These quarterbacks bring a unique situation to the table in 2011. They will all manage very good teams but could easily be replaced by season end, or in Robinson's case, be too banged up to even finish. Michigan was getting close last year and Brady Hoke will put them back in the spotlight.
Thomas brings the most to the table with a dynamic Oregon team and plenty of experience, however, Jefferson has seen some highs and lows in Baton Rouge and will try to push the tigers to the next level, once again.
It's tough putting a quarterback with no experience in these polls, but you cannot leave out an Auburn or Alabama either, just because they are replacing one five star recruit with another. Auburn will be a top 15 team next year, even if Moseley turns out to be awful.
Taylor Martinez will lead the Cornhuskers in 2011. He has shown tremendous talent and will try to push Nebraska past Ohio State and take over the Big Ten.
E.J. Manuel will take over a very talented Florida State team in 2011. Jimbo Fisher finally has the Seminoles back in the spotlight, and their success will depend on how far Manuel can take them.
Little will change at Alabama this fall. They will have a dominant defense, a strong running game and a quarterback that makes very few mistakes. A.J. McCarron is likely to be that quarterback in 2011. If he shows the toughness Greg McElroy and John Parker Wilson did in the past, Bama will be right back in the national title picture.
There may not be a more complete quarterback in the nation than Kellen Moore. He has shown the toughness and skill to win at the biggest level. Moore looks to finally get Boise State over the hump of the college football world. There can be no hiccups along the way.
Terrelle Pryor has been up and down in his career. 2011 will be no different. Being suspended for the first few games of the season should light a fire for Pryor to deliver at all cost. If the Buckeyes can hang on against the tough schedule they will face in the first four weeks, they should be in the national title picture once again.
If you listen to the talking heads of the football world, there is nothing better than Andrew Luck. Luck has a tremendous arm, is extremely intelligent and has all the talent to carry Stanford on his back in 2011. If he can avoid injury, the Cardinal will be poised for a run at the title in 2011.
Landry Jones will lead an Oklahoma team in 2011 which will be loaded on offense and defense. The strong armed passer will have the world at his fingertips in 2011. If Jones and his teammates can stay focused and not listen to the "great" chatter they are likely to hear in August, the Sooners should be fine as they navigate through the Big XII.