Athlon Sports puts the Alabama Crimson Tide at the top of the rankings list in their Preseason Top 25 of college football teams.
Matt Hayes at Sporting News has LSU at #1 for the upcoming college football season at College football preseason top 120.
Blake Oz at Bleacher Report puts the Oklahoma Sooners at Number One.
Tim Hyland at About.com has the Oregon Ducks first.
Below are the Final YPPSYS 2010 Pre-Bowl Rankings and Ratings for the past season of FBS college football (no inclusion of post-regular-season bowls is made here since those games are sometimes not representative of a team's true strength and often mark long layoffs from the end of the regular season).
The stats below show the presumed dominance of teams (or not) by yards per play on offense versus yards per play on defense -- adjusted by schedule difficulty and won-loss records. These stats give us a good idea of the strength of the teams going into the 2011 season, as huge changes are rare at the top level.
Many e.g. are touting LSU as a potential national champion this year, but that is not to be expected based upon last year's unimpressive yardage stats for both the Tigers' offense and defense. Oregon lost the national championship game to Auburn only on a late field goal last year. Cam Newton was a senior for the Tigers but Darron Thomas was only a sophomore for the Ducks. He is back for two more years, not to mention LaMichael James, who finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy ballotting last year as a sophomore.
How good are the teams like LSU and Oregon this year? Only time will tell, but we will already get a good initial idea when LSU opens its season "at" Oregon -- in a game actually at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas-Forth Worth -- on September 3, 2011, in a match of two very fast and aggressive teams.
Two teams to watch this year will be Stanford and Nebraska.
How will the Huskers fare in the Big Ten? which the Cornhuskers are officially joining on July1.
How will a Stanford team with Andrew Luck, the best quarterback in the country, stand up after losing head coach Jim Harbaugh to the 49ers?
And are the Fighting Irish finally back? They closed the regular season last year with 3 straight wins, including impressive wins over Utah and USC, and then beat the Miami Hurricanes in the Sun Bowl. With Brian Kelly at the helm in his second season as Notre Dame head coach, the sky is the limit.
It is surely possible that both Stanford and the Irish could meet undefeated in their final game of the season on November 26, 2011.
yards per play
+ best win rank
+ worst rank loss
as a base,
of this is
|23||San Diego State||1.9||6.7||4.8||120-39-67||8-4||-0.4|