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College Football Rankings 2011: 3 Biggest Pretenders in AP Top 10

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images I’ve always maintained that college football rankings are largely useless once they get beyond the Top 10. The other 15 teams are good, but they seem rather mediocre next to the big dogs at the very top of the rankings.Then again, some of the big dogs are closer to mediocrity than the rankings would suggest. We generally don’t know which teams are until they lose, but we can certainly take a few educated guesses in the meantime.So let’s do that, shall we?Here are three teams that I think are the biggest pretenders in the Top 10.3. Nebraska (No. 9)There are things about Nebraska I like. Namely, I really like Taylor Martinez, Taylor Martinez and Taylor Martinez.Everything else is just okay. The Cornhuskers may be 3-0, but their last two wins weren’t as pretty as they should have been. It took a comeback to beat Fresno State, and putting Washington away proved to be a little on the difficult side.This would be okay, but my fear is what will happen to this team if Martinez happens to get hurt.Probably the same thing that happened to this team when Martinez got hurt last year.2. Oklahoma State (No. 7)Last year, the Pokes were one of the most exciting offensive teams in the land. They are just that once again this year.The other trend from 2010 that is continuing in 2011 is the fact that the Pokes just can’t play defense. They’re allowing an average of 27.0 points per game through three games, and that’s just not very good once you consider their opponents.Oklahoma State had better step up this coming weekend. The Pokes have to hit the road to take on No. 8 Texas A&M. If the Pokes are unable to outscore the Aggies, which is a very likely possibility, they’re going to have to stop them.That is not such a likely possibility.1. Boise State (No. 4)Before you get me wrong, let it be known that I think Boise State is a very, very good team. The Broncos can go toe-to-toe with any team in the country.But unlike in 2010 and other recent years, I’m just not so sure Boise could go toe-to-toe with any team in the country and win. The defense is not as dominant as it once was, and the offense has lost much of the “wow” factor that it had with Titus Young and Austin Pettis.Beyond that, you have to look at Boise’s first two opponents. Georgia is nothing special, ditto Toledo. Looking ahead, it’s going to be more of the same.Because of that, Boise will be in the mix for a BCS berth by the end of the season. But if the Broncos stumble, it should not come as a surprise. Most recent updates: College Football Rankings: Why Alabama Should Be No. 2 over Oklahoma College Football Rankings: 3 Teams That Will Climb Polls After Week 5 College Football Rankings: How Long Will LSU Tigers Remain No. 1? View all updates

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