These rankings reflect the opinion of the Boise Sports Examiner and are not a representation of the Associated Press poll or the polls that make up the BCS Rankings. You can see the 2011 BSE Preseason Poll here. Click the links for teams 1-10 and 21-25.
11. Virginia Tech 1-0
Previous Rank: 11; Last Game: W 66-13 Appalachian State; Next Game: East Carolina
The Hokies made sure they didn’t start 2011 the same way they began 2010. They ran over the Mountaineers behind a solid effort from running back David Wilson. The junior, replacing Ryan Williams, ran for 162 yards and three scores. The Hokie defense forced four turnovers and the game was essentially over at the end of the first quarter.
12. Oklahoma State 1-0
Previous Rank: 12; Last Game: W 61-34 Louisiana-Lafayette; Next Game: Arizona
The Cowboys ran wild with 666 yards including 388 from quarterback Brandon Weeden to go with three touchdown passes. Unfortunately, Weeden also threw three interceptions and two were returned for touchdowns. The going gets tougher against Arizona on Thursday night and the Cowboys need to clean up the mistakes.
13. Arkansas 1 -0
Previous Rank: 13; Last Game: W 51-7 Missouri State; Next Game:
The Razorbacks put the game away in the first quarter with three touchdowns, including the first of Joe Adams’ two punt returns for touchdowns. Quarterback Tyler Wilson, taking the reins from Ryan Mallett, was an efficient 18-24 for 240 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jarius Wright. Things don’t get much more difficult next week when they play host to New Mexico in Little Rock.
14. Michigan State 1-0
Previous Rank: 14; Last Game: W 28-6 Youngstown State; Next Game: Florida Atlantic
The Spartans closed last season on a sour note, getting blown out by Alabama in the Capital One Bowl, after coming within one game of a possible BCS National Championship game appearance. They start with a cream puff schedule this year, already beating Youngstown State and hosting Florida Atlantic next week. The defense looked good against the Penguins and quarterback Kirk Cousins was efficient but the offense was still relatively vanilla without former coordinator Don Treadwell, the new coach at Miami (OH).
15. South Carolina 1-0
Previous Rank: 15; Last Game: W 56-37 East Carolina; Next Game: Georgia
South Carolina struggled early against the Pirates but pulled away late behind running back Marcus Lattimore and senior quarterback Stephen Garcia. A sloppy game in which the teams combined for nine turnovers was finally put away when the Gamecocks outscored the Pirates 42-7 over the third quarter and first 12 minutes of the 4th. South Carolina now travels to Georgia and the winner has a leg up in the SEC East.
16. Mississippi State 1-0
Previous Rank: 16; Last Game: W 59-14 Memphis; Next Game: Auburn
The Rebels looked very impressive in a season-opening win against Memphis, led by quarterback Chris Relf. The offense should be outstanding once again but the defense lost coordinator Manny Diaz and may be more of a work in progress in 2011. The first big test of the season comes next week against Auburn. If the Rebels have a good showing in that game, they have a chance to challenge for the SEC West title.
17. Ohio State 1-0
Previous Rank: 25; Last Game: W 42-0 Akron; Next Game: Toledo
The Buckeyes looked impressive in Coach Luke Fickell’s debut. Putting aside all of the offseason drama, Ohio State dominated the Zips. New quarterback Joe Bauserman, starting in place of the departed Terrelle Pryor threw for three touchdown passes, all to tight end Jake Stoneburner. Akron managed only five 1st downs and 90 yards as the Buckeyes dominated, even without eight suspended players, their former quarterback and their former national championship-winning Head Coach, Jim Tressel.
18. Florida 1-0
Previous Rank: 23; Last Game: W 41-3 Florida Atlantic; Next Game: Alabama-Birmingham
Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps ran all over the Owls on Saturday for new Head Coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Rainey scored on a reception, rush and return, only the third player since 1996 to do so. Demps ran for 105 yards on only 12 carries and scored twice. The Gator defense dominated, allowing only 11 1st downs and 137 yards.
19. West Virginia 1-0
Previous Rank: 21; Last Game: W 34-13 Marshall; Next Game: Norfolk State
The Mountaineers finished off the Thundering Herd for the 11th straight time in a game that was called due to weather with nearly 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Geno Smith did nothing to hurt his Heisman candidacy with 249 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall was held to just nine first downs and 187 yards in the abbreviated game.
20. Arizona State 1-0
Previous Rank: 22; Last Game: W 48-14 UC-Davis; Next Game: Missouri
The Sun Devils had a makeover of sorts off the field with some wild new uniforms, and they hope that makeover transitions to their inconsistent offense in 2011. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was solid in the season opener against the FCS Aggies and the competition takes a step forward when they host Missouri next Friday night. The Sun Devils have a good chance of riding a defense, led by intimidating linebacker Vontaze Burfict, all the way to the Pac-12 South title.
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