|UCLA is not mentioned in this article. I don't care.|
It’s still a bit early. Recruits haven’t signed yet. Some schools don’t even have coaches lined up. We already looked at teams that could slip in 2011. For fun, here is a preliminary Top Ten for 2011.
Oklahoma: The Sooners are loaded on both sides of the ball. Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles are coming back. The have a veteran defense. Should they decide to show up outside of Norman, they can compete for a national title.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide are losing McElroy, Ingram and Jones, but returning Trent Richardson and nine starters on defense. I put them at a slight disadvantage with an inexperienced quarterback.
Ohio State: They have a veteran team coming back. They will miss their memorabilia salesman for the first five games, but should scrape by without them. They play four of those five at home. Miami away is the only “tough” game.
Florida State: The Seminoles lose Ponder, but his importance was overrated. Their young defense will have another year under Mark Stoops. They keep bringing in top-calier recruiting classes. They should be the preeminent ACC team.
Oregon: They are losing a number of key contributors on defense and the offensive line. But Darron Thomas and LaMichael James will return and it’s hard to doubt Chip Kelly’s system.
Boise State: Boise lose their two best receivers, but they are bringing back Kellen Moore and the bulk of their defense.
Stanford: Jim Harbaugh is gone, but Andrew Luck, many of his recruits and the bulk of his coaching staff should remain. Enjoy Luck while he’s still fresh. You are going to here WAY too much about him next season.
LSU: Les Miles and a lot of talent returning. The trouble is they are losing a lot of experience and ability on defense and they are coached by Les Miles.
South Carolina: Garcia, Lattimore and all their wide receivers are returning. If they can stay healthy and save Steve Spurrier from himself, they should compete.
Texas A&M: The Aggies return virtually their entire offense and eight starters on defense. They will have Ryan Tannehill in place from day one.