1. Boise St: Heisman Trophy finalist Kellen Moore returns to lead the Broncos to hopefully another BCS game and maybe even a national title appearance as they move to the Mountain West. Kellen Moore will be helped by running back Doug Martin, who had over 1200 yards last year, and receiver Tyler Shoemaker. The defense has always taken a back seat to the powerful offense but it is still extremely good, giving up only 12.8 point per game last season. The defense is a little under sized in some areas but is always one of the fastest and most aggressive defenses in College Football. Boise St starts off with a big game vs Georgia and will face TCU on November 12th. Article on Kellen Moore and the Broncos here: Boise St in 2011
|Ed Wesley looks to lead TCU back to a BCS Bowl|
3. Notre Dame: Brian Kelly enters his second year as head coach of the Irish and he has them poised to get back to double digit wins in South Bend. Quarterback Dayne Christ is back after a knee injury forced him to miss the final four games and the bowl appearance. He will be joined by Cierre Woods in the backfield and his top three targets from last season will be back, led by Michael Floyd. Junior Monti Te'o was sensational last season and will likely be the leader of an improved front seven. A difficult schedule that includes South Florida, Michigan, Michigan St, Pittsburgh, Air Force, USC, Navy, Maryland, Boston College, and Stanford and a developing secondary could keep the Irish from that ten win season.
|Tim Jefferson will lead the Falcons'|
triple option attack
5. Air Force: Tim Jefferson comes back to lead an Air Force team that ranked second in the nation in rushing last season thanks to the triple option offense. Jefferson comes back with leading rusher Asher Clark and leading receiver Jonathan Warzeka back on the roster. The back seven of the defense will be strong with a great returning linebacking core and a solid secondary. The problem will be up front on the line. The Falcons should hang close with the likes of TCU and Boise in the Mountain West but I think they are just out of reach.
Others to Watch
-Navy Midshipmen: The triple option looks to continue despite not having Ricky Dobbs
-San Diego St Aztecs: RB Ronnie Hillman will be one of the best in the nation
-Houston Cougars: Case Keenum is back.
- Central Florida Knights: The Knights look to improve on a top 25 finish last season
-SMU Mustangs: The most talented team in the C-USA looks to make a third straight Bowl game