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THE TOP 25 FOR 2011
ANDY STAPLES
January 17, 2011
While some questions remain unanswered—Will Cam Newton and Nick Fairley return to the Plains? Who will be the coach at Stanford?—it's not too early to rate the teams that are in the best position to challenge for next season's BCS championship
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January 17, 2011

The Top 25 For 2011

While some questions remain unanswered—Will Cam Newton and Nick Fairley return to the Plains? Who will be the coach at Stanford?—it's not too early to rate the teams that are in the best position to challenge for next season's BCS championship

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1. Oklahoma (12--2 in 2010)

Quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Ryan Broyles and linebacker Travis Lewis return, and running back Roy Finch could be the Sooners' next breakout star.

2. Oregon (12--1)

Losing three offensive linemen and two linebackers is cause for concern. But given the quality of the Ducks' recruiting in recent years, Oregon might have even more team speed in 2011.

3. LSU (11--2)

With or without corner Patrick Peterson, the Tigers will be loaded, with 10 starters back on offense and at least seven on D.

4. Alabama (10--3)

Running back Mark Ingram, receiver Julio Jones and defensive end Marcell Dareus are leaving early, but the Tide's backlog of blue-chippers includes quarterback Phillip Sims.

5. Stanford (12--1)

Quarterback Andrew Luck will begin the season as the Heisman front-runner, but he'll have to overcome the loss of coach Jim Harbaugh and three O-linemen.

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