The Oklahoman's college football early 2011 preseason Top 25

By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: January 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm •  Published: January 15, 2011

Why too low: The All-Big 12 QB (Brandon Weeden), Biletnikoff Award winner (Justin Blackmon) and entire line return for an offense that averaged 44 points a game.

Why too high: The conductor (Dana Holgorsen) of that offense has bolted, and the defensive front has some big holes to fill.

7. Boise State (12-1)

Why too low: QB Kellen Moore and RB Doug Martin will spearhead what should be another high-scoring offense. The defense also will have seven starters back.

Why too high: Leading receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young, along with Moore, the heartbeat of the Boise offense, are gone.

8. Ohio State (12-1)

Why too low: QB Terrelle Pryor and others will be suspended for the first five games, but if the Buckeyes can survive those, look out. The defense should be stout again, and, eventually, nine starters will be back on offense.

Why too high: While Pryor is out, Ohio State will have a tough time beating both Miami and Michigan State, especially considering several key defensive stars like cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and end Cameron Heyward are gone.

9. Arkansas (10-3)

Why too low: QB Tyler Wilson showed in a loss at Auburn he can throw the ball around, too, and the Razorbacks showed in the second half of the Sugar Bowl they can play defense. Tailback Knile Davis gives the Hogs some balance, too.

Why too high: QB Ryan Mallett will be missed. So will Mackey Award winner D.J. Williams.

10. South Carolina (9-5)

Why too low: In tailback Marcus Lattimore and receiver Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina will have the offensive firepower to repeat as SEC East champs.

Why too high: The Gamecocks were exposed by Auburn and Florida State their last two games. QB play has been mediocre, and with the same guys back, it doesn't figure to get much better.

The rest of the Top 25

11. Florida State (10-4)

12. Wisconsin (11-2)

13. TCU (13-0)

14. Texas A&M (9-4)

15. Auburn (14-0)

16. Michigan State (11-2)

17. Mississippi State (9-4)

18. Notre Dame (8-5)

19. Missouri (10-3)

20. Florida (8-5)

21. Nebraska (10-4)

22. Virginia Tech (11-3)

23. West Virginia (9-4)

24. Georgia (6-7)

25. Arizona State (6-6)

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