ESPN's Andrea Adelson put together a top 10 list for the non-AQ schols and it is a good list with a few surprises with BYU and Tulsa in the top five in the rankings. Tulsa returns 16 starters and their offense is usually one of the best in the country, but they do bring in a new head coach and offensive coordinator. BYU at three seems high for a preseason or in this case post-spring rankings. They return 19 starters and finished the season well, but that was against bad competition outside of Utah and UTEP in the bowl game.
By years end I could see BYU being ranked in the top 25, but it depends on how well the young group gels. Their schedule has a good mix of teams and Adelson mentions every game is winnable, but I do not see how going to Texas is a winnable game regardless of how bad they were last year. BYU did beat Oklahoma in 2009, so there is that history.
If San Diego State finds new receivers they will be deadly and shoot up the list, and Air Force's success will depend on replacing a few Reggie Rembert and Anthony Wright, Jr. in the secondary as well as finding a new fullback.
1. Boise State: The Broncos have Kellen Moore back, and that makes them a preseason top 10 team going into the season. Geraldo Hiwat, Tyler Shoemaker and Kirby Moore had good springs, helping ease some questions about the receiver situation.
2. TCU: The Horned Frogs are at the point where they don't rebuild. They reload. They move ahead of BYU based on their defense. I am still uncertain about how Casey Pachall will do at QB. Andy Dalton lost five games in his first year as a starter, though the TCU defense in 2007 was not as good as what is expected in 2011.
6. San Diego State: The Aztecs lost coach Brady Hoke and their top receivers in Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. But Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Lindley and Miles Burris return in the highly competitive Mountain West.
7. Air Force: The Falcons could be a dark horse contender in the Mountain West with Tim Jefferson returning at quarterback.
10. Northern Illinois