College Football Preseason Rankings 2011: Did Oregon Deserve No. 1 in AP Poll?
The AP Preseason Poll was released on Saturday, ranking Oregon No. 3 in the second consecutive major preseason top 25.
Considering last year's Heisman runner-up and the preseason favorite to win the award this year, LaMichael James is returning at running back to avenge his team's lose to Auburn in the 2011 National Championship, there's good enough reason not to sleep on this team without even mentioning the rest of the roster.
The Ducks have some question marks along the defensive line and some big shoes to fill at linebacker after the departure of long-time starters Casey Mathews and Spencer Paysinger, but the offense is still as talented as any in the country.
Darron Thomas returns at quarterback with another year under his belt, Kejon Barnesteams up with James to form the best backfield in the nation and senior tight end David Paulson is about as good as they get at the position.
Oregon's offense wore down nearly every team in it's path last season, going undefeated in the regular season.
A lot of those same weapons are back with another year of knowledge under their belt and a sour taste remaining from last season that should have the Ducks as motivated as anyone in contention.
Oklahoma on the other hand has taken the top spot in both the AP and Coaches Poll preseason rankings and a lot of that comes down to Landry Jones and the Sooners relatively easy schedule.
Well if Oregon beats LSU to open the season, it's a long ways till the Ducks are challenged again and by that point the team's momentum and confidence could carry them past Stanford and USC in November and back into the national championship.
|1||Oklahoma (Big 12)|
|5||Boise State (Mountain West)|
|6||Florida State (ACC)|
|8||Texas A&M (Big 12)|
|9||Oklahoma State (Big 12)|
|10||Nebraska (Big Ten)|
|11||Wisconsin (Big Ten)|
|12||South Carolina (SEC)|
|13||Virginia Tech (ACC)|
|14||TCU (Mountain West)|
|16||Notre Dame (Independent)|
|17||Michigan State (Big Ten)|
|18||Ohio State (Big Ten)|
|20||Mississippi State (SEC)|
|21||Missouri (Big 12)|
|24||West Virginia (Big East)|
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