NCAA FB

Preseason power rankings

CFB on FOX:  Gus Johnson and Charles Davis on teams to watch.
CFB on FOX: Gus Johnson and Charles Davis on teams to watch.
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Charles Davis

A former defensive back at Tennessee, Charles Davis is the lead analyst for College Football on FOX and writes his weekly Power Rankings for FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter.

   
 

1. Oklahoma: Early-season loss of All-America LB Travis Lewis adds to offseason difficulties, but Sooners are still loaded.

2. LSU: Key to the season for the Tigers? Week-to-week consistency from QB Jordan Jefferson, if he plays.

3. Alabama: Nasty defense led by LB Donta Hightower buys time for a new QB to get established (AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims).

4. Boise State: Doubters still remain, but senior QB Kellen Moore knows how to win games like the opener vs. Georgia in Atlanta. (See Virginia Tech, 2010.)

5. Stanford: Best player in the country, QB Andrew Luck, returned to The Farm for some unfinished business (Rose Bowl, degree).

6. Oklahoma State: Not a better pitch/catch combo than QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon.

7. Texas A&M: The Aggies believe, and they attack on both sides of the ball, with QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Cyrus Gray, and LB Sean Porter.

8. Oregon: Probably should be ranked higher, but will they be able to set aside a turbulent offseason? RB LaMichael James is an All-American.

9. Wisconsin: NC State transfer QB Russell Wilson may be the game-changer in the race for the Big Ten title.

10. Florida State: Jimbo Fisher puts his stamp on the program in one year. Now an ACC title is in reach.

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11. South Carolina: The best talent in the "Ol' Ball Coach's" time in Columbia -- RB Marcus Lattimore and WR Alshon Jeffrey are special, but QB Stephen Garcia holds a possible SEC title in his hands.

12. Nebraska: The move to the Big Ten may mean playing for a third conference title in three years (last two in the Big 12).

13. Arkansas: RB Knile Davis may be out with injury, but QB Tyler Wilson is bound to shine … could this be 2011’s Auburn?

14. Michigan State: Mark Dantonio has built a solid foundation, and the 2010 Big Ten tri-champs welcome back QB Kirk Cousins.

15. Virginia Tech: New QB Logan Thomas is not Tyrod Taylor in style, but he has Frank Beamer excited about his potential from the pocket.

16. TCU: Loss of key personnel leads to relatively low ranking, but Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs will reload and challenge Boise State in the MWC. All-American LB Tank Carder can't wait.

17. Notre Dame: Brian Kelly is one of the best in the business, and a BCS game is attainable.

18. Ohio State: This program can't wait to kick off the season and put the focus back on the field. There is a lot of talent in Columbus.

19. USC: The normal depth at each position does not exist, but Monte Kiffin's defense will be vastly improved over last year's version. And, QB Matt Barkley is eager to show that he can play on Luck's level.

20. Arizona State: LB Vontaze Burfict is a "Force Majeure" on defense, and the Sun Devils are aiming high in 2011.

21. Mississippi State: Dan Mullen is the perfect leader to challenge the SEC West powers, and QB Chris Relf gives him the confidence to do so.

22. Missouri: The Tigers have won 40 games in the last four years … sounds like a program to me.

23. Texas: The Longhorns were 5-7 in 2010? Wholesale coaching and program changes will lead to a turnaround.

24. West Virginia: New coach Dana Holgerson gets the job a year early, and he wants his offense to move with similar speed … QB Geno Smith will orchestrate.

25. Central Florida: Have you seen sophomore QB Jeff Godfrey? He may be the best college QB in the state of Florida, and led the Knights over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl -- convincingly.

Tagged: Wisconsin, Arkansas, Oregon, LSU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Stanford, UCF, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Jeff Godfrey, USC, Mississippi State, Texas

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