College Football 2011 Predictions: The 25 Teams That Will Score the Most Points
There is nothing more exciting in college football than a good ole fashion offensive shootout.
Some say that defense wins championships, but that might not be the case in college football anymore.
Last season, the BCS title game featured two teams that were known for their unstoppable offense rather than their defense. Times are changing, and the teams that score the most points are now generally the best.
In this list, I ranked the top 25 teams that will score more points than any other teams in college football.
25. TCU Horned Frogs/Auburn Tigers
Both of these schools were in the top five last season in scoring but should expect a big drop off in 2011.
TCU is losing quarterback and leader Andy Dalton, three of their top four receivers and the majority of their offensive line from a season ago. However, running back Ed Wesley should keep the Horned Frog attack fairly solid.
Auburn is losing the player whom their whole offense revolved around, Heisman winning quarterback Cam Newton. Other than running back Michael Dyer, the Tigers will have to fill plenty of big shoes on offense next season.
24. Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils quietly averaged 32.6 points per game last season, good enough for 26th in college football.
That is amazing considering the Sun Devils were one of the worst teams in the nation in red zone efficiency last season.
However, there is plenty of hype surrounding their offense and this team heading into the 2011 season. Quarterback Brock Osweiler and his offense should improve greatly in the second season of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s spread offense.
23. USC Trojans
USC could have been the most underachieving offense in the nation last season. The Trojans averaged just 30.8 points per game last year.
They are led by quarterback Matt Barkley and an endless stable of running backs.
If USC can get more consistency out of their offensive line, this unit will be much more consistent. They have the potential to be a great offense but have yet to put the pieces together.
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Even though quarterback Tyler Potts is graduating, it is hard to imagine a Texas Tech team that is not dominant offensively.
They return a very experienced offensive line from a season ago, but there is some doubt at the quarterback spot.
Junior Seth Doege will more than likely get the first crack at the job. He can only assume that he will do well because of the strong history the Red Raiders have at quarterback.
Head coach Chris Ault’s pistol formation always seems to be able to put up big numbers for the Wolfpack.
Nevada have two huge losses in quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Vai Taua. The success of this offense relies heavily on whether or not someone will be able to replace Kaepernick.
Tyler Lantrip is expected to get the job and will have a lot of pressure on himself to lead an offense that ranked seventh in scoring a season ago.
20. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Southern Miss returns eight starters from an offense that averaged 36.8 points per game a season ago.
Senior quarterback Austin Davis orchestrated a Golden Eagles attack that scored less than 28 points just twice all season.
With most of their key players returning, Southern Miss should once against score a lot of point in 2011. They one of the many strong offensives featured in the C-USA.
19. Nebraska Cornhuskers
You could make a case for Nebraska’s offense just about anywhere on this list. Almost all their offensive success will depend on quarterback Taylor Martinez.
Martinez and the Husker offense were puzzling last season. One week, they would drop 55 points on Washington, and the next, they could only manage 17 against South Dakota State.
The loss of three starting offensive linemen and running back Roy Helu will be felt. But with Martinez under center, the Huskers always have a chance to score in bunches.
18. Hawaii Warriors
Hawaii would normally find themselves in the top 10 of a list like this, but it is hard to have that much confidence in the Warriors next season.
They return a measly three starters from a season ago, but luckily, one of them is quarterback Bryant Moniz. He is just another Hawaii quarterback benefiting from a system built for passers.
Regardless, Hawaii always has the best passing team in the country and expect no different in 2011.
17. Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia’s offense was very up and down last season. They were an inexperienced bunch that sometimes had trouble against elite defenses.
Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray is one of the rising stars in college football. He looks to have a stellar second season with the Bulldogs but will have to do so with out the recently drafted superstar receiver A.J Green.
If Tavarres King can become a big time target for Murray, and the Bulldogs can settle on a feature running back, they should have one of the best offenses in the SEC next season.
16. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan’s offense turned heads early in the 2010 when they were dismantling weak defense. However, reality struck once Big Ten play started.
The Wolverines struggled against elite defenses last season.
Nonetheless, they do return 10 offensive starters from a season ago and quarterback Denard Robinson is one of the most electrifying players in college football.
This unit has the potential to be one of the best in the nation but have a lot to prove.
15. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the hardest teams to speculate about. With all the controversy surrounding their program, it is difficult to say how they will look come September.
All we know for sure is that if quarterback Terrelle Pryor is focused, his offense tends to generate points.
Last season, the Buckeyes ranked 11th with 38.3 points per game.
14. Texas A&M Aggies
The 2010 Texas A&M seasons was a tale of two teams, the Aggies with Jerrod Johnson at quarterback and the Aggies with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.
Tannehill is being called an early Heisman favorite, and his Aggies are legitimate Big 12 title contenders.
With 10 offensive starters returning from a season ago, the A&M should have one of the strongest squads in the country. Wide Receiver Jeff Fuller and running back Cyrus Gray are two of the best playmakers in the Big 12.
13. Troy Trojans
Quarterback Corey Robinson led one of the strongest offenses in the country last season at Troy.
His team averaged 34.1 points per game and had the 11th best passing offense in the nation.
Last season, Troy showed that they can score on top notch programs like Oklahoma State and South Carolina and will get another chance to show their stuff against Clemson and Arkansas in 2011.
12. East Carolina Pirates
East Carolina is yet another small school that dominated teams through the air last season.
Quarterback Dominique Davis led the eighth-best pass offense in college football last season.
Lance Lewis, a wide receiver who caught 89 for 1,116 yards last season, is also back for the pirates. Do not be surprised if they match, or even beat, their 36.8 points per game average from a season ago.
11. Alabama Crimson Tide
There are plenty of reasons to like Alabama’s offense.
They scored 35.5 points per game last season, return their entire offensive line from a season ago and have Trent Richardson at running back.
Sure, quarterback Greg McElroy and wide receiver Julio Jones will be missed but don’t expect this offense to take a big step back in 2011.
A lot of pressure will be placed on A.J. McCarron or Phillip Sims to take over for McElroy under center.
10. Houston Cougars
Houston is just another one of those programs that always seems to have an unstoppable offense every season.
With the fifth-best passing attack in the country last season, Houston averaged 37.7 points per game.
Do you remember quarterback Case Keenum?
Two seasons ago, Keenum was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, but seemingly disappeared last season when he went down with an injury. He is returning this season and looks to dominate like he has in previous years for the Cougars.
9. San Diego State Aztecs
If you did not get a chance to see this team play in 2010, make sure you catch them in 2011.
Quarterback Ryan Lindley and running back Ronnie Hillman are two of the most underrated players in the country and the driving force of the Aztec offense.
With tough games at TCU, Michigan and at home against Boise State, don’t be surprised if the Aztecs can pull of an upset or two next season. Lindley and Hillman are unstoppable when they are on their games.
8. Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
Tulsa is finding themselves ranked in most preseason polls due to the dominance of their offense.
Last season, their offense in the top 15 nationally in both running and passing the ball. It resulted in 41.1 points per game, good enough for seventh in the country.
With 10 starters returning on defense for the Golden Hurricanes, including quarterback G.J. Kinne and receiver Damaris Johnson, all signs point toward another strong offense in Tulsa.
7. Wisconsin Badgers
Despite losing quarterback Scott Tolzien and offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin’s offense should roll again in 2011.
They have the most impressive running back duo in the nation with Montee Ball and James white, and the Badgers return three starting offensive linemen from a season ago.
The trick now it finding a quarterback. Jon Budmayr is expected to get the starting nod.
Wisconsin showcased the fifth-best scoring offense in the country last season, averaging 41.5 points per game.
6. Stanford Cardinal
Last season, Stanford averaged 39.8 points per game behind quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Stepfan Taylor.
The Cardinal are going to need brilliance out of these two again if they want to follow up on their Orange Bowl winning season last year.
Losing their top two receivers and three starting offensive linemen will make it difficult for Stanford to match last season’s numbers. But if anyone can get it done, it is Andrew Luck.
5. Arkansas Razorbacks
The difference between Arkansas’s 2010 offense and their offense in 2011 will be the use of running back Knile Davis.
Last season, Davis did not receive the bulk of the carries until midway through the season and was the second option on the Razorbacks offense. Now with quarterback Ryan Mallett gone, Davis should be getting the ball early and often.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson looks like he could be every bit as good as Mallett, so don’t expect the Razorbacks offense to miss a beat in 2011.
4. Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners feature arguably the best quarterback/receiver tandem in the country with Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles. The two are one of the main reasons the Sooner find themselves ranked at the top of most preseason polls.
The only hole on the Sooners offense is at running back. DeMarco Murray moved on to the NFL and Oklahoma is now searching for a new feature back.
If they can find a consistent running game, then there Oklahoma’s offense should be amongst the best around.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
If anyone has a tougher quarterback/receiver tandem than Jones and Broyles, it is Oklahoma State’s duo Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
Last season, the two connected for 20 touchdowns with each other and were an unstoppable force. With their leadership, the Pokes averaged 44.2 points per game last season.
Nobody is going to doubt Oklahoma States offense next season, but their defense is another story. The Pokes better hope that their offense is as great is advertised, because their defense is subpar at best.
2. Boise State Broncos
You can blame it on their weak competition, but Boise State flat out scores a lot of points. The Broncos scored 45.1 points per game last season and return most of the key pieces from that squad.
They have to balance the run and the pass every week. The Broncos ranked sixth in passing and 21st in rushing last season.
Quarterback Kellen Moore and running back Doug Martin are both back for the 2011 season, and will probably be unstoppable yet again. Don’t be surprised if Boise State’s offense carries them to yet another BCS birth.
1. Oregon Ducks
No real surprise here. Oregon is returning most of key players from what was one of the most prolific offensives of all time last season.
Quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James are both Heisman candidates in 2011 and nightmares for opposing defenses. Expect them to roll through the season undefeated just like they did last year.
The Ducks averaged a FBS best 46.8 points per game and gained a grand total of 6,899 yards last season.