Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ten in the Morning: A look ahead to college football 2011

Mark Podolski

It's mid-January so you know what's next. Predictions for the 2011 college football season, of course.

Here's one man's preseason top 10 for next season:

1. Stanford: The best player in college football is Andrew Luck, now that Cam Newton is off to the NFL. Coach Jim Harbaugh is gone to the 49ers, but the promotion of offensive coordinator David Shaw means not much will change for the Cardinal in 2011.

2. Oregon: The Ducks will take a hit on defense, but with QB Derron Thomas and RB LaMichael James returning, the offense should be as potent as ever.

3. LSU: The Tigers return 10 starters on offense and eight on defense. LSU will need all of them when it plays Oregon in early September in Arlington, Texas.

4. Alabama: It should be a great race in the SEC West between the Crimson Tide and LSU.

5. Boise State: It all starts with QB Kellen Moore, so expect another outstanding season from the Broncos, who open the season against Georgia in Atlanta.

6. Ohio State: It's impossible to predict how the Buckeyes will react to the five-game suspensions of QB Terrelle Pryor and others. With them, OSU is easily a top 5 team.

7. South Carolina: RB Marcus Lattimore and WR Alshon Jeffrey are the real deal, so expect the Gamecocks to be the class of the SEC East again in 2011.

8. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys quietly won 11 games in 2010 and got a huge boost when QB Brandon Weeden and stud WR Justin Blackmon decided to return.

9. Oklahoma: QB Landry Jones is back, as is WR Ryan Broyles, but a trip to Oklahoma State could mean trouble.

10. Notre Dame: WR Michael Floyd returning is huge for the Fighting Irish, and the defense played well in the latter half of the season.


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