2011 College Football National Top 25, Week 1: Boise State Starts Out On Top

Dan Hope@Dan_HopeContributor IIISeptember 6, 2011

2011 College Football National Top 25, Week 1: Boise State Starts Out On Top

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    2011 CFB National Top 25 - Week 1

    Teams listed with Rank. School Name (Record) - This Week’s Result

    The Preseason Top 25 featured Boise State, Alabama, Stanford, Oregon, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Georgia, and USC as the top ten teams.

    Check out the slideshow to see where the nation's best teams rank in the Top 25 for Week 1!

1. Boise State (1-0) Win at Georgia 35-21

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    On their quest for an undefeated season, and a national championship chance if the cards fall right, Boise State got off to a strong start, winning against an SEC school for the first time ever.

    With one of the most impressive wins of Week 1, the Broncos start out the season on top.

2. LSU (1-0) Win vs Oregon 40-27

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    I did not expect that the LSU Tigers would be able to beat Oregon.

    The Tigers were led by the strength of their defense, which forced 4 turnovers and kept the Oregon offense out of rhythm all night long.

    LSU came up with a massive win to start the season, vaulting the Tigers up to second in the Top 25.

3. Oklahoma (1-0) Win vs Tulsa 47-14

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    Against Tulsa, a team that finished 24th in my final top 25 last season after a 10-win year, the Sooners were dominant, absolutely dismantling the Tulsa defense with 663 total yards.

    Not quite the scale of victory as the top two teams, but the Sooners showed they are a force to be reckoned with.

4. Stanford (1-0) Win vs San Jose State 57-3

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    San Jose State may be one of the weakest programs in the FBS, but Stanford made them look like a Division II program, and Andrew Luck only needed to throw for 171 yards for them to do so.

    They put up 57 points, and their offense is capable of much more than what they did in this game. Stanford proved they are the team to beat in the Pac-12.

5. Alabama (1-0) Win vs Kent State 48-7

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    The Crimson Tide got off to a dominant start over Kent State.

    With two interceptions from A.J. McCarron, the quarterback position is still in question, but everything else appears to be in great shape.

6. Texas A&M (1-0) Win vs SMU 46-14

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    The Aggies completely dismantled SMU, a team that I believe could end up with a 9 or 10-win season, so that was very impressive.

    Ryan Tannehill was sharp, the running backs played well, and the defense did what they needed to do.

    An impressive start vaults the Aggies high in the Top 25.

7. Nebraska (1-0) Win vs Chattanooga 40-7

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    The Cornhuskers took care of business against Chattanooga, as they should have, and remain the favorites in the Big Ten.

8. Florida State (1-0) Win vs Louisiana-Monroe 34-0

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    With an impressive shutout of Louisiana-Monroe, the Seminoles earned themselves a spot in the top ten of the rankings.

9. Ohio State (1-0) Win vs Akron 42-0

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    Even with many key players suspended, the Ohio State Buckeyes looked very impressive against Akron.

    Of course, they should look impressive against Akron, but there were many encouraging signs for Buckeye fans, especially from the play of quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller.

    They are worthy of a top ten spot in the rankings.

10. Wisconsin (1-0) Win vs UNLV 51-17

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    In the Thursday night season opener, the Badgers started off the season with a statement.

    The Badgers dominated UNLV, led by a tremendous performance from former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson, who appears poised to lead the Badgers to a very strong season.

No. 11—No.15

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    11. Virginia Tech (1-0) - Win vs Appalachian State, 66-13

    The Hokies have been notoriously weak starters in recent years, including a horrible loss to FCS school James Madison last season.

    This would not be the case against Appalachian State, with the Hokies absolutely dominating the FCS power, and proving themselves worthy of a ranking in the top half of the Top 25.

    12. Oklahoma State (1-0) - Win vs Louisiana-Lafayette, 61-34

    The Cowboys’ offense put up 61 points and 666 total yards against the Ragin’ Cajuns, but Brandon Weeden did throw 3 interceptions, which helped Louisiana-Lafayette get to 34 points, a much higher mark than most of the other top teams allowed against inferior Week 1 competition.

    That kept the Cowboys out of the top ten for Week 1.

    13. Arkansas (1-0) - Win vs Missouri State, 51-7

    Highlighted by two Joe Adams punt return touchdowns, the Razorbacks completely dominated Missouri State.

    The running game was a bit weak without Knile Davis, but other than that, everything went well for the Razorbacks.

    14. Florida (1-0) - Win vs Florida Atlantic, 41-3

    Led by Chris Rainey, who had a tremendous day rushing, receiving, and on special teams--all capacities in which Rainey scored a touchdown in Week 1—the Florida coaching debut of head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis went very well, with a victory in dominant fashion.

    15. Mississippi State (1-0) - Win vs Memphis, 59-14

    The Bulldogs were completely dominant over Memphis on Thursday night, and established why they remain a very dangerous contender in the Southeastern Conference, earning them a ranking in the top 15.


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    16. Baylor (1-0) - Win vs TCU, 50-48

    There was not one game more entertaining in Week 1 than Baylor’s shootout victory over TCU.

    Quarterback Robert Griffin had an absolutely tremendous performance, throwing for 359 yards and five touchdowns, while wide receiver Kendall Wright had 189 receiving yards and caught two of Griffin’s touchdown passes.

    The Bears defense was very shaky, giving up 48 points and 466 total yards, but a win over TCU, the team that finished 2nd in my final Top 25 last year after an undefeated season and Rose Bowl victory, is certainly a huge start to the season, which gives them great momentum to carry forward with.

    That earns the Bears the 16th spot in this week’s rankings.

    17. South Florida (1-0) - Win at Notre Dame, 23-20

    Lightning landed in South Bend on Saturday, with the most resounding strikes coming at the conclusion of the game, which resulted in a surprising South Florida upset victory over Notre Dame.

    With the win, USF put themselves in position to be the early favorites in the Big East, and got a win both historical for the program, as well as a big road win to build momentum off of. This earned them the 17th spot in the Week 1 rankings.

    18. South Carolina (1-0) - Win vs East Carolina, 56-37

    The Gamecocks won over East Carolina, but they did not win impressively.

    Connor Shaw got the start at quarterback, but after a 3-for-9 start in which he only passed for 21 yards and his team fell into a 17-0 hole, Shaw was pulled in favor of Garcia, who led the Gamecocks back to victory.

    However, the fact that the Gamecocks struggled to established control of this game until the second half was a discouraging sight for a team expected to contend in the Southeastern Conference.

    19. North Carolina (1-0) - Win vs James Madison, 42-10

    In his first game as North Carolina starting quarterback, sophomore Bryn Renner was tremendously efficient, completing 22 of 23 passes, and North Carolina rolled to a victory over James Madison, showing signs of good things to come this season for the Tar Heels.

    20. Oregon (0-1) - Loss vs LSU (neutral), 40-27

    The Ducks suffered a tough loss against LSU in their opener. However, LSU is one of the powers of the nation’s best conference, the SEC, and the Ducks should bounce back to contend for a Pac-12 title.

    Since they did show some good signs against a very tough SEC team, the Ducks hang around in the top 20 of the rankings.

No. 21—No. 25

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    21. Georgia (0-1) - Loss vs Boise State, 35-21

    The Bulldogs have a tough game against Boise State in their opener, with Aaron Murray and the Georgia offense struggling to find rhythm.

    But considering that the Broncos are expected to be one of the top teams in college football, the Bulldogs remain in the top 25 for now.

    They will have to win against South Carolina this week to stay in.

    22. Iowa (1-0) - Win vs Tennessee Tech, 34-7

    Highlighted by an 89-yard Shaun Prater interception return touchdown, along with an 88-yard passing touchdown from James Vandenberg to Marvin McNutt, the Hawkeyes rode big plays to a big win in Week 1, putting themselves out on the right foot as a Big Ten contender and a Top 25 team.

    23. Maryland (1-0) - Win vs Miami, 32-24

    Maryland’s win over Miami may not have been overly impressive, for the Terrapins could have won much more impressively had they scored effectively in the red zone, and the Hurricanes were missing eight key players due to suspension.

    Even so, the Terps’ win to close Week 1 on ESPN’s national Monday night showcase was a big momentum-building win for the team to start the season under new head coach Randy Edsall. This win was enough for Maryland to earn a spot within this week’s Top 25.

    24. Georgia Tech (1-0) - Win vs Western Carolina, 63-21

    Quarterback Tevin Washington had a rare passing day against Western Carolina, passing for 271 yards and three touchdowns on just eight completed passes, while the Yellow Jackets also ran for 297 yards.

    With those gaudy offensive numbers, Georgia Tech cruised to victory over the FCS school, and earned a spot in the rankings for Week 1.

    25. Penn State (1-0) - Win vs Indiana State, 41-7

    Neither Nittany Lions quarterback was impressive in Week 1, while placekicker Evan Lewis had a tough day, missing two field goals and an extra point.

    Even so, by stifling Indiana State to only 170 total yards and seven points, the Nittany Lions took care of business well enough to earn a spot in the Top 25.

Teams in Preseason Top 25 That Did Not Make It in Week 1

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    USC (Preseason No. 10) - Win vs Minnesota, 19-17

    Robert Woods set a school record with 17 receptions, while quarterback Matt Barkley set a school record with 34 pass completions.

    Even so, the Trojans struggled to put the Golden Gophers away in Week 1, with the game coming down to the wire.

    Therefore, even with a win highlighted by record performances from the passing game, the unimpressive nature of their win keeps them out of this week’s Top 25.

    Michigan State (Preseason No. 12) - Win vs Youngstown State, 28-6

    The Spartans ended up taking care of business over Youngstown State, but they started out horribly slow, and actually trailed the FCS school in the second quarter. Michigan State should not have had that much trouble getting it going, and that keeps them out of the first week of the Top 25.

    Notre Dame (Preseason No. 21) - Loss vs South Florida, 23-20

    The Fighting Irish suffered a very disappointing loss at home in Week 1, getting upset by South Florida. While Notre Dame outgained the Bulls to an exact 2:1 ratio, the Irish had five turnovers, while the Bulls had none, which cost the home team the game.

    The Irish played much better once Tommy Rees took over for Dayne Crist at quarterback, so if coach Brian Kelly keeps Rees as the starter, the Irish could bounce back from this and work their way back into the Top 25. For now, they are out.

    TCU (Preseason No. 23) - Loss vs Baylor, 50-48

    Last season, the Horned Frogs had the nation’s best defense, giving up just 12 points and 228.5 total yards of offense per game.

    This season started off with the Horned Frogs giving up 50 points and 564 total yards of offense, numbers which have them ranked in the bottom ten among FBS teams through Week 1. Clearly, the Horned Frogs is not going to be what it was last year, and that takes away their edge.

    They will have to improve greatly to get back to the Top 25.

    Missouri (Preseason No. 25) - Win vs Miami University, 17-6

    The Tigers won in Week 1, but they certainly did not look too impressive against Miami University, only putting up 17 points. They will have to play better against tougher competition to be a Top 25 team.