College Football Preseason Rankings 2011: Predicting the AP Top 25 Poll
Now that we've had some time to digest the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, we can look forward to the initial Associated Press rankings.
Many are hoping the AP will do a slightly better job than Coaches' Poll did, although the AP Poll is mostly for show, since it no longer is factored into the overall BCS standings.
Regardless, we still love to predict what the AP will come up with, so why don't we take a look at how the rankings might shake out this week.
25. Miami (Fla.)
Led by their future star tailback Lamar Miller, the Miami Hurricanes are headed in the right direction under new head coach Al Golden.
24. Brigham Young
Led by their sophomore sensation quarterback, Jake Heaps, the BYU Cougars continue their upward trend from last season.
23. West Virginia
Led by quarterback Geno Smith, the West Virginia Mountaineers will finally have an opportunity to focus their attention on the field as opposed to the fact that they've been placed on probation by the NCAA.
22. Arizona State
Led by their All-American linebacker Vontaze Burfict, the Arizona State Sun Devils will compete for the Pac-12 South title under head coach Dennis Erickson.
Led by quarterback Aaron Murray and their ultra-hyped freshman running back, Isiah Crowell, the Georgia Bulldogs are a team on the rise.
The Utah Utes will be counting on junior quarterback Jordan Wynn to help them compete at a high level in their first year as a member of the Pac-12 South.
The USC Trojans are absolutely loaded on offense, led by quarterback Matt Barkley, wide receiver Robert Woods and running backs Marc Tyler and Dillon Baxter.
18. Ohio State
Despite all of their off-field issues, the Ohio State Buckeyes are still loaded with talent and should be able to survive the first five games of the season without some key players who will be serving suspensions.
17. Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans will compete for a Big Ten title in 2011 behind potential All-American quarterback Kirk Cousins and an electric group of running backs and wide receivers.
The Arkansas Razorbacks would have been ranked higher until it was revealed that they will be without the services of their star running back Knile Davis for the entire season due to a severe ankle injury.
Despite losing a lot of talent from last season's 13-0, No. 2-ranked team, the 2011 version of the TCU Horned Frogs still merits top-15 consideration.
14. South Carolina
Led by All-American running back Marcus Lattimore, this should be Steve Spurrier's best team yet in Columbia.
13. Virginia Tech
Led by cornerback Jayron Hosley—the front-runner for the Jim Thorpe award—head coach Frank Beamer has some holes to fill on offense, but the Hokies should be solid once again.
12. Notre Dame
In year two of the Brian Kelly era, we may be witnessing the most talented Notre Dame football team—especially on the defensive side of the ball—since the Lou Holtz era.
11. Texas A&M
Led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Cyrus Gray, this could be one of the most explosive offensive units we've ever seen in College Station.
10. Oklahoma State
Led by their All-American wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will compete with their in-state rivals in Norman for the Big 12 title.
Led by running backs Montee Ball and James White, the Wisconsin Badgers will once again compete for the Big Ten title and a trip to Pasadena.
Favored to win the Big Ten title in their first year as a member, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will go as far as quarterback Taylor Martinez takes them.
7. Florida St.
Led by a quarterback poised for a breakout year in EJ Manuel and a stable of talented running backs, the Florida State Seminoles are thinking BCS title in 2011.
6. Boise State
Led by their All-American quarterback Kellen Moore, the Boise State Broncos will light up scoreboards all season long en route to 12 or 13 wins.
Future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Andrew Luck leads the Stanford Cardinal, hoping to improve on last year's 12-1 campaign, despite losing head coach Jim Harbaugh to the NFL.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson will look to finally prove himself once and for all as he leads yet another loaded LSU Tigers team.
Led by quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, the Oregon Ducks will once again compete for a national title behind Chip Kelly's high-powered offense.
Led by running back Trent Richardson and quite possibly the most talented roster in America, many feel the Alabama Crimson Tide will be your 2011-12 BCS National Champions.
Led by two All-Americans, quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles, the Oklahoma Sooners are once again favored to hoist the BCS trophy this January in New Orleans.