With the end of spring football for all the major FBS programs and summer workouts beginning, for college football fans, two-a-days are right around the corner. With that in mind, several writers for College Sports Feed have broken down the upcoming 2011 season and we will be counting down our CSF Preseason Top 25 over the next few weeks.
In this five-part series of articles, we will work our way down to our preseason #1. In this first segment, we take a look at our Preseason Teams 21-25.
25. Kentucky: No this is not my 2011 Basketball Preview, Kentucky will be the surprise team of the 2011 season. The Wildcats return 10 defensive starters from a team that should have beaten National Champions Auburn last year. Kentucky has 3 joke non conference games against Western Kentucky, Central Michigan, Jacksonville State and a home date with Louisville. Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas are off the schedule as well. Back to back road games at LSU and South Carolina will be the true test of the Wildcats season. – Peter Marhoefer, Mr. Touchdown USA
24. Notre Dame: That roller coaster ride for first year coach Brian Kelly ended up with wins over Utah, USC and a blowout over Miami in the Sun Bowl. If the Irish can get more consistent QB play from their quarterback, whomever that will be, they’ll have a great chance at winning ten games. – Justin Cange, CSF writer/contributor
23. Utah: The Utes try their luck in the Pac 12 this fall. Despite going 33-6 in the last three years, many pollsters continue to keep Utah out of Top 25. Legendary offensive coordinator Norm Chow will help, but depth, particularly on offense, could be an issue now that the Utes are playing in a BCS conference. If the offensive line and quarterback Jordan Wynn (who is spent the spring recovering from shoulder surgery) can stay healthy, look for Utah to make some waves in the inaugural season of the Pac 12. – Jeff Dunbar, CSF Senior Editor
22. Arizona State: With the entire offense back Coach Dennis Erickson will show the country if the Sun Devils are for real in a Nationally Televised Friday night game vs. Missouri week two. – Peter Marhoefer, Mr. Touchdown USA
Despite a fairly difficult schedule, including Missouri at home and Utah on the road, the Sun Devils have a great chance to make noise in the new Pac-12. Quarterback Brock Osweiler will be at the helm, having finished last season extremely well when filling in for oft-injured Steven Threet. The strength of the defense is undoubtedly at linebacker – watch for Vontaze Burfict to breakout and become one of the conference’s top middle linebackers. – Nick Mattar, CSF writer/contributor
21. Mississippi State: This team finished in the top 15 last year, lost no one, but still dropped in most polls? Why? Beware of the Bulldogs, SEC. – Christian Hon, CSF writer/contributor
Expectations are high after their Gator Bowl blowout over Michigan, and there is reason to believe the Bulldogs can meet them. Their high-octane offense returns almost every starter, and coach Dan Mullen now has his system fully in place. The only thing keeping this team from challenging for a conference title is their defense, which for the first time in a long time will be the team’s weak spot – Nick Mattar, CSF writer/contributor