2011 Preseason College Football Rankings

ALL NEW: Be sure to go see our 2012 preseason college football rankings!

***UPDATED: The USA Today Coaches Poll was released 8/3/11 and is included below. The AP Poll was released 8/20/11 and is included below.***

USA Today Poll

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Florida State
6. Stanford
7. Boise State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M
10. Wisconsin
11. Nebraska
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
14. Arkansas
15. TCU
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan State
18. Notre Dame
19. Auburn
20. Mississippi State
21. Missouri
22. Georgia
23. Florida
24. Texas
25. Penn State

Others receiving votes: Arizona State; West Virginia; Utah; Miami (Fla.); Iowa; Northwestern; Arizona; Central Florida; Michigan; Air Force; North Carolina; Houston; South Florida; Hawaii; Clemson; Tennessee; Southern Miss; Brigham Young; North Carolina State; Northern Illinois; Oregon State; Pittsburgh; Washington; Georgia Tech; Nevada

AP Poll

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Boise State
6. Florida State
7. Stanford
8. Texas A&M
9. Oklahoma State
10. Nebraska
11. Wisconsin
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
14. TCU
15. Arkansas
16. Notre Dame
17. Michigan State
18. Ohio State
19. Georgia
20. Mississippi State
21. Missouri
22. Florida
23. Auburn
24. West Virginia
25. USC

Others receiving votes: Texas 114, Penn State 75, Arizona State 67, Miami (FL) 32, Utah 25, Southern Miss 20, Iowa 19, Brigham Young 15, North Carolina State 15, Air Force 14, Houston 13, Pittsburgh 9, Michigan 7, Tennessee 5, UCF 5, Northern Illinois 4, Hawaii 4, Tulsa 3, Arizona 2, Maryland 2, Nevada 1, Northwestern 1, Washington 1

The 2010 college football season is now behind us, so we can look forward to the 2011 preseason college football rankings which will be officially released in August. The actual preseason rankings from the AP and USA Today may not be released until August, but plenty of people have given their thoughts as to what those rankings should be. As we did with the 2010 preseason rankings and with the 2009 preseason rankings, we’re going to compile as many 2011 college football preseason rankings as we can find and give you a very accurate look at what the official rankings will look like this year.

I was able to locate 12 different reputable blogs and other websites who posted their projections of the 2011 preseason rankings. I have included my own version of what I think they should be as well. Some did not have a full top 25. In the case of those with just 10, then 1-10 points were awarded. For those with a top 20, only 1-20 points were awarded. This kept things balanced and all that. I’m not posting all 12 as that would take me too long, so I’m only showing the compilation of them.

Here is a great look at what the college football 2011 preseason rankings are going to look like:

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Stanford
6. Oklahoma State
7. Boise State
8. Ohio State
9. Texas A&M
10. Florida State
11. Wisconsin
12. Arkansas
13. Michigan State
14. Auburn
15. South Carolina
16. Nebraska
17. TCU
18. Notre Dame
19. Missouri
20. Mississippi State
21. Virginia Tech
22. Georgia
23. Arizona State
24. Florida
25. Penn State

Others receiving votes: West Virginia, Texas, Michigan, UCF, Uconn, Tulsa, Miami (FL), North Carolina State, BYU, Northwestern and Hawaii

Now I know recruiting isn’t over and all that and some of these came out before draft declarations were made. I get that. This may change a big. But based on a big consensus, there are a few things we can say with utmost certainty:

1. The preseason top 5 will definitely be Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Stanford, most likely in that order.

2. We know that rankings 6-16 will very likely be Oklahoma State, Boise State, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Florida State in some order at the top, and Wisconsin, Arkansas, Michigan State, Auburn, South Carolina and Nebraska will make up the bottom portion of those rankings.

3. TCU, Notre Dame, Missouri, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech will be in the 17-21 range.

4. The 22-25 spots will be pretty much up for grabs, with the most likely teams being Georgia, Arizona State, Florida and Penn State.

So what is my initial take on this set of projected 2011 preseason rankings? I see a few key takeaways. First, let’s compare last seasons AP preseason rankings with the final AP rankings:

Preseason 2010 Rankings

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Boise State
4. Florida
5. Texas
6. TCU
7. Oklahoma
8. Nebraska
9. Iowa
10. Virginia Tech
11. Oregon
12. Wisconsin
13. Miami (FL)
14. USC
15. Pitt
16. Georgia Tech
17. Arkansas
18. North Carolina
19. Penn State
20. Florida State
21. LSU
22. Auburn
23. Georgia
24. Oregon State
25. West Virginia

Final 2010 Rankings

1. Auburn
2. TCU
3. Oregon
4. Stanford
5. Ohio State
6. Oklahoma
7. Wisconsin
8. LSU
9. Boise State
10. Alabama
11. Nevada
12. Arkansas
13. Oklahoma State
14. Michigan State
15. Mississippi State
16. Virginia Tech
17. Florida State
18. Missouri
19. Texas A&M
20. Nebraska
21. UCF
22. South Carolina
23. Maryland
24. Tulsa
25. North Carolina State

Why post these you ask? Well, the AP ranked Texas, Florida and Iowa in the preseason top 10 and none of them ended up in the final top 25. When you look at the rest of the preseason top 25, you have several who didn’t end the season ranked: Miami, USC, Pitt, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Penn State, Georgia, Oregon State and West Virginia. That makes 12, or half, of the preseason top 25 who didn’t even end the season ranked at all. Pretty pathetic track record.

So looking at the projected 2011 preseason rankings now, who doesn’t belong? First, Stanford will be ranked way too high. They lost their coach, a darn good coach, to the NFL. Andrew Luck will stick around, but this isn’t the same team without Jim Harbaugh. I think they will finish the season outside the top 10 but will start the season inside the top 10.

The big bust this year will be Texas A&M. Preseason top 10? Good grief. What have they done to earn that? They went 9-4 last year and looked bad against LSU in the Cotton Bowl. You’re probably looking at another 3-4 loss season, not anything worthy of a top 10 ranking.

Auburn is ranked highly only because Newton and Fairley hadn’t declared for the draft yet. I imagine they will be lower on this list and rightfully so.

South Carolina? Really? When will voters learn- this team sucks! They always have and they always will! South Carolina under Steve Spurrier has been the epitome of mediocrity. They can consistently finish about .500 in conference play. They will do the same this year.

Missouri ranked? Maybe news hadn’t broke yet that Blaine Gabbert won’t be around. These guys now have to play the whole Big XII, or what is left of it. That’s guaranteed losses to OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and maybe even Texas A&M. Not going to be a good year in Missouri.

Seriously, Georgia? They just had a losing season! Then to top it off they lost their best player! This is a big time fail on the part of the preseason voters, or will be if Georgia is in the top 25.

Probably the most intriguing team here is going to be Notre Dame. Are they back? And how will Michigan do with their new coach? These two will get preseason votes for sure, the question is, will either live up to any of the hype? It’s going to be interesting.

What do you think about the preseason college football rankings for 2011? Do you agree or disagree with these projections?