College Football Top 25 Rankings: Ohio State out of Top 10 After Tressel Resigns
When Jim Tressel resigned from his position at Ohio State, most people were shocked, but not really surprised it happened. For years the Ohio State program has been looked at under a microscope, and it seems new allegations keep resurfacing.
With Tressel now gone from Columbus, one of the top coaches in college football is gone. Will he relocate to another team? Will another program want a guy with Tressel's baggage?
With him out of the picture, it is time to look at an updated list of the college football's top 25 college football programs for 2011.
After his first losing season, Mack Brown cleaned house this offseason, replacing multiple assistant coaches and hiring new offensive and defensive coordinators.
After going 5-7, I do not see the Longhorns getting any worse, and having a top-five recruiting class will help this team get back on track and into the top 25.
G.J. Kinne and Tulsa had a break-out campaign in 2010 that ended with a Golden Hurricane win over No. 24-ranked Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
Tulsa does not have a schedule most small schools have either. They start out facing most likely the No. 1 team in the country (Oklahoma). Also on their schedule is UCF, Oklahoma State and Boise State.
23. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech lost starters Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans and Ryan Taylor, so at first glance it looks like the Hokies will have to rebuild.
I say hold on just a minute.
Regardless of five-star recruits or star QBs, coach Frank Beamer always seems to keep his team in contention for an ACC Title. To continue that trend though, Beamer has to find a replacement for Taylor.
22. Mississippi State
Mississippi State played one team that was under .500 at the time they played them.
That team was LSU, who ended up ranked No. 15 at the end of the year.
The Bulldogs ran all over Michigan in their bowl game and finished the year 9-4. Their best offensive and defensive players (Derek Sherrod and Pernell McPhee) departed for the NFL though, and they will be missed.
Aaron Murray looks like he is a star in the making. He finished the year with 24 TDs and completed more than 61 percent of his passes as a freshman.
Georgia will add to the growing star power of the team with the No. 6-ranked 2011 recruiting class. Isaiah Crowell is the top-ranked RB coming out of high school and should offer the Bulldogs a great QB/RB combo.
Missouri is returning 17 starters next season, but Blaine Gabbert is not one of them. If Missouri wants to continue growing as a program, a new QB has to step up, whether it is Tyler Gabbert or James Franklin.
T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew emerged as the top passing threats last year, so the new QB should have some targets to throw to.
Taylor Martinez had an amazing freshman season season, scoring 32 total TDs.
He is also going to have to grow as a pocket-passer if Nebraska wants to contend in their new conference. The Cornhuskers face a tough three-game stretch, playing Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota consecutively.
Although Urban Meyer had a disappointing ending to his career at Florida, he left the team in very capable hands.
Charlie Weis and Will Muschamp have a talented QB in John Brantley, who had an up-and-down 2010. Even with Meyer leaving, the Gators still have one of the top incoming classes.
17. Notre Dame
Notre Dame might have found a head coach who can last in South Bend for a long, long time.
Brian Kelly had a successful first season, as the Fighting Irish went 8-5 with a bowl win over Miami.
Notre Dame hopes Dayne Crist can return after suffering a knee injury late last season.
Wisconsin has one of the best RB duos in the country returning to the team, but their offensive line will be brand new. Early on in 2011, we will see if these RBs are really that good or if it was just a really good offensive line.
Montee Ball and James White look to build on seasons where both rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 14 TDs each.
15. Michigan State
Kirk Cousins returns as one of the better QBs in the Big Ten. Michigan State also has its top two RBs (Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell) returning.
MSU only lost one game heading into their bowl game against Alabama, but they were crushed 49-7 by the Crimson Tide.
14. South Carolina
South Carolina returns one of the best RBs in all of college football. Marcus Lattimore returns after rushing for nearly 1,200 yards and 19 TDs in his first college season.
Steve Spurrier should have QB Stephen Garcia on a very short leash to start the year, and Jadeveon Clowney immediately makes the Gamecocks' defense 10 times better.
After Auburn's National Championship run, it was obvious the team would be missing some starters from their 2010 team. The most missed player is, no question, Heisman Trophy-winner Cam Newton.
With a new QB coming in, Michael Dyer may have to carry the load for most of the season.
12. Texas A&M
Ryan Tannehill took over halfway through the year and led the team to an undefeated record to finish the regular season. His only hiccup was in Texas A&M's bowl game where they lost to LSU.
19 starters are returning for the Aggies, and they will have to find a replacement for Von Miller, who was all over the field for them last year.
11. Ohio State
Ohio State's season is looking bleaker by the day. After Terrelle Pryor and four other starters were suspended for five games, Jim Tressel leaving town just adds insult to injury.
The Buckeyes also have many questions on the defensive side of the ball.
10. Oklahoma State
Brandon Weeden and his top target, Justin Blackmon, return for Oklahoma State in 2011. Blackmon ended the season with nearly 1,800 yards and 20 TDs.
The offensive side of the ball is set and will be dangerous. The defense is what concerns me for the Cowboys though.
Ryan Mallett is gone for the Razorbacks, but Tyler Wilson looks like he could be another star for Arkansas next year. The sophomore's best game in 2010 was when he took over for Mallett against Auburn and threw four TD passes.
Andy Dalton will be sorely missed next season, but I think TCU will still have a good enough team to be a top-10 club. Their only true test in their conference will be a game at Boise State.
The Horned Frogs had the best defense in college football last year, and it will be that group that will either lead the team to a successful or disappointing last season in the Mountain West Conference.
7. Boise State
As long as Boise State has Kellen Moore, the Broncos will continue to contend for—and win—conference titles.
After moving to the Mountain West Conference, things will be a little tough the first year. Once TCU leaves in 2012 though, it should be another cake walk to the conference title each season for the Broncos.
Can the Oregon offense get any better?
They sure can. After having the top offense in college football last season, the Ducks look to even get better. Their two stars—Darron Thomas and LaMichael James—return, but the rest of the offense might look new in 2011.
With the news of Andrew Luck returning to school, it immediately made the junior the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy.
It has also made the Cardinal a top-five team.
Coach Jim Harbaugh left for the NFL, but Luck and the returning players can still use the skills and system Harbaugh taught.
Les Miles had the chance to take the Michigan job last year.
Why didn't he?
More like, why would he?
LSU has been of the nation's top programs for years now, and the Tigers will be one of the favorites to contend for the BCS Championship. Jordan Jefferson is still the starting QB, but he will have more competition this year with Zach Mettenberger transferring in.
3. Florida State
With Christian Ponder gone, E.J. Manuel now has the job all to himself at Florida State.
Manuel's last two games of the season were very good. He went 34-of-46 and threw for 372 yards in his final two games, including a bowl win over South Carolina.
Alabama is going to have to replace two first-round picks and Greg McElroy in 2011.
A.J. McCarron has the inside track on the starting QB job, and Trent Richardson has plenty experience carrying the load in the backfield.
This should be another title year for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
As of right now, it seems everyone is picking Oklahoma as the team to beat in 2011.
The Sooners are returning 29 players who have started games either offense or defense. Included in that bunch is one of the top QBs in the country, Landry Jones. The junior threw nearly 4,800 yards and 38 TDs last season—and no, that is not a typo.