College Football Preseason Rankings 2011: Which Team Will Crack AP Top 25 First?
The AP Preseason Poll is an inexact science to say the least. Look back at the poll from the last few years and you'll see just how much turnover there is in the first few weeks of the season.
So which unranked teams have the best shot to get on the list first this year?
Part of that question can be answered by another. Which teams will be off the list first? Based on their September schedules Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri and West Virginia are the teams to be on in that category.
But looking at the flip side of the coin, five teams need to replace them if they're to make an early exit.
Penn State might appear to be an obvious choice considering the Lions are ranked 25th in the Coaches Poll, but they also face Alabama to open the season so you'd be best to move on to someone else rather than go that route.
The Longhorns get to beat up on some second-tier talent until their matchup with Oklahoma on October 8 so it's a good bet they find their way into the AP Poll at some point in September, but for how long is a different question.
So which unranked teams have the chance to see a prolonged stay in the AP Poll? A couple that come to mind are Utah and Miami.
I'm not buying the hype around Arizona State. The Sun Devils face Missouri, USC, Oregon State, Utah and Oregon in the first seven weeks of the season.
But looking at the possibilities for the others, if Utah gets past USC, the schedule opens up a lot for the Utes and that could have them on a nice path this year. Same goes for Miami if they get past a weakened Ohio State team early.
There's others to consider here, but the early hurdles aren't quite as sparse for them. Utah and Miami are one good win away from sliding up the rankings and staying there for awhile.
Of course, everything could derail in a heartbeat for Miami if the NCAA puts the hammer down.
|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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