Preseason College Football Rankings 2011: Top 6 Teams Not in the AP Poll
Now that the AP Poll has been released, let the debates begin about who is ranked too high and who is ranked too low. I will save that for for another day.
Instead, let's take a look at who got snubbed in the initial poll.
Fans of these teams can make a case that their team should be ranked headed into the season.
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All the Utes do is win and they receive no love for it.
The move to the Pac-12 was something that should help this program, but apparently nobody noticed.
They schedule tough. They play any opponent anywhere, yet they get no respect.
Utah is still very talented, very fast and has a tremendous home field advantage. While they won't contend for a conference championship this season, you can make the case that they are better than some of the teams ranked in the initial poll.
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The Longhorns have no one to blame but themselves, coming off one of the worst seasons in recent memory.
However, while being punished for a failed 2010 season, this Texas team should be much better.
There are still questions if Garrett Gilbert can lead this team under center, but expect Texas to run the ball a ton with freshman Malcolm Brown.
If there is one team that can bounce back from a difficult 2010 season to have success in 2011, look no further than Texas.
3. Arizona St.
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Another team on the west coast not getting much love is Arizona St. Don't sleep on these guys though, as they look to be a pretty good football team.
They could be playing in the first Pac-12 Championship Game this season as they could wind up being the best team in the Pac-12 South.
Defensively, the Sun Devils have a very good line backing core and if the offense can improve off its minus-50 turnover ratio from a season ago, this team could surprise some people.
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Amid all of the distractions, the Hurricanes are a good football team. They will be a lot better if the offense takes care of the football.
The distractions could be a rallying cry for The U and this could be their last chance to put together a good season.
They have more than enough talent to do something this year. The question is will they crumble under the media scrutiny.
5. Penn St.
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Coming off of a 7-6 2010 season, the Nittany Lions won't be much better, but could add another win or two in 2011.
The defense will be solid and the Lions are loaded at the skill positions. Wide receiver Derek Moye is especially one to watch.
A lot of shuffling though on the offensive line could be a problem, as well as an unsettled quarterback position, but if that all comes together, they could be a pretty good football team.
6. Air Force
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This is a good football team capable of beating some quality teams on their schedule.
The Falcons won nine games a season ago and possessed the second best rushing attack in the nation. Not among those nine wins is a near upset on the road against Oklahoma.
Expect them to be able to run the ball again in 2011.
Defensively, the Falcons return four of their top five tacklers from a season ago.
This is a team that can make some noise in the MWC in 2011.