We've gone about a third of a year without updating our preseason top 25 from spring, and with fall practice just around the corner now is the time to revisit our list and make some changes.
There has been a lot of news since our last poll (ahem, Ohio State) and some of it sent some rather large shock waves through our top 25.
We'll release the entire poll over the next two or three weeks, and here's the first five.
*Previous rankings in parentheses.
No. 25 Texas Longhorns (17)
It’s funny how Will Muschamp left
So what to expect from the Longhorns in 2011? Well, a clean sweep in September should be a goal, but their ceiling is probably around 8 or 9 wins this upcoming fall. In the past
To put in another way, the defense is likely not dominant (although still very good) and the offense simply doesn’t scare anyone anymore. New OC Bryan Harsin might help a little bit, but not much.
No. 24 Auburn Tigers (20)
You could probably convince me that the defending champs don’t even belong in the top 25, but I have them holding steady just inside, although they did drop 4 spots.
The problems at
The Tigers play
I would be shocked if
No. 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs (18)
Everyone loves what Dan Mullen has done at Mississippi State (well, except Houston Nutt), it’s just too bad he’s still coaching in the SEC and that this is probably as high as he can take the Bulldogs. If this were an ACC team, they’d easily be half a dozen spots higher, if not more.
Almost the entire offense returns, as does the bulk of the defense. They are going to get their non-conference wins, but they might not be favored in 6 of their 8 SEC games.
If they can repeat last year’s nine win season, 2011 should be an overwhelming success as that would mean beating three out of the following opponents:
Last year the Bulldogs lost to
No. 22 Missouri Tigers (21)
Blaine Gabbert is gone as well as a couple other studs, but the
The defense has some holes to fill in the secondary, but the defensive line is a lot better than most people think. No,
No. 21 Ohio State Buckeyes (6)
Huge drop for the Buckeyes and rightfully so, but let’s not forget there is still plenty of talent in
Interim head coach Luke Fickell should have the
I can see the Buckeyes having a good season, but not in comparison to what they normally achieved under the Vest. You have to think all of the offseason turmoil takes a heavy toll on this team in 2011, with three or four losses being the likely result.
I have them as the fourth best team in the Big Ten right now with losses coming to each of the higher ranked league opponents, as well as to the Miami Hurricanes on the road in week three. If