2011 Preseason Haven Rankings

It’s almost here ! No not the NFL season or Baseball Playoffs , but the start of the 2011 NCAA Football 2011 season. This year on Sports Haven we will have a ranking system of our top 15 teams in the nation. These rankings will be updated every sunday once the season kicks off. Like all rankings The Haven Rankings will have a formula. We will base our rankings on a number of different aspects but here is our basic formula for finding our top 15 in the country.

Here’s our formula: 

Overall Record, Strength of Schedule, Point differential, and half of the USA Today and Coaches poll points factored together

This list will be competitive and tough to rank so if any of our readers think we’re completely wrong or completely agree with us just let us know by commenting or voting in our polls. 

Atop our poll at numero uno this year is a team that is in the top 5 every year but never quite gets there. There SOS (Strength of Schedule) is in the top 5 of teams on the list. They have maybe the best QB to WR combo in the country with a good defense to boot. The Preseason Number 1 team in the Haven Rankings in none other than Boomer Sooner; Oklahoma.



  1. Oklahoma Sooners–   827 pts    SOS Grade : A-  (@FSU, A&M, MIZZOU & @ OK STATE)
  2. LSU Tigers–  798 pts   SOS Grade : A – (Oregon,@Alabama, Florida & Auburn)
  3. Oregon Ducks– 755 pts SOS Grade: (LSU,@Stanford, USC & @ Arizona)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide– 707 pts SOS Grade: B (LSU, @ Florida ,@ Ole Miss & @Auburn)
  5. Stanford Cardinal–  695 pts SOS Grade: C+ (Oregon, @ USC, California & Notre Dame)
  6. Oklahoma State Cowboys 675 pts SOS Grade:B- (Oklahoma, @ A&M, @ Texas & @ Mizzou)
  7. Boise State Broncos– 665 pts SOS Grade:  C – (TCU, @ Georgia, Nevada & @ Fresno State)
  8. Wisconsin Badgers– 645 pts SOS Grade:  B (Nebraska,@Ohio State, Penn State & @ Michigan State
  9. Texas A&M Aggies– 640 pts SOS Grade :B+ (@ Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Mizzou & Texas  )
  10. Florida State Seminoles– 635 pts SOS Grade: B-  (Oklahoma,@ Florida, @Clemson & Miami )
  11. South Carolina Gamecocks– 630 pts SOS Grade: B – (Florida, @ Arkansas, @ Georgia & Auburn
  12. Arkansas Razorbacks-629 pts  SOS Grade: B+ (@ LSU, @ Alabama, A&M , & South Carolina
  13. Nebraska Cornhuskers– 623 pts SOS Grade: B + (@ Wisconsin, @ Ohio State, @ Michigan & @ Penn State)
  14. Virginia Tech Hokies– 608 pts SOS Grade: C (Miami, UNC,@ Georgia Tech & Clemson)
  15. TCU Hornedfrogs– 593 pts SOS Grade: D + (@ Boise State,BYU,@SDSU & SMU)

The Analysis

 Oklahoma was a pretty easy choice at the top but after that was not as easy to grade , rank and score. Number 2 came down to LSU and Oregon ; Two very different teams with insane coaches and tremendous expectations in 2011…Guess I’ll just have to wait for Labor Day weekend when the Ducks and Tigers square off on primetime. The 4 through 7 slots were easy to fit in Bama,Stanford,OK State and Boise, but A&M and Wisconsin were close in schedule and points for the 8th slot. I picked Wisconsin based on the teams returning players, (Particularly on the offensive side of the ball.). I had to put FSU in somewhere so 10 felt like a good place… Then South Carolina just beat Arkansas for the 11th spot in our poll.Nebraska has a tough 1st year schedule wise in the Big 10 with trips to “The Big House”, “Happy Valley” , “The Horseshoe” and to top it off a visit to Camp Randall in Madison,WI…After the Cornhuskers are the Hokies who have been plagued with injuries in camp but still have a solid team intact from a season ago. And rounding out my top 15 preseason teams in TCU who is without a veteran QB and playing an AWFUL schedule that features only 1 Quality opponent (Boise).

Our  next poll will be on Monday: 9/5/11… we’ll address the 1st weekend of NCAA Football action and maybe have some shakeups atop the leaderboard.

Also in closing please take a moment and vote in our “Did We Get it Right ? ” Poll


Championship Weekend

Bruce Taylor

Marcus Lattimore

This weekend 3 major conferences (ACC,BIG 12 and SEC) will have their annual Championship Game. Out of these 3 games the one with the most impact or greatest storyline is by far the 4 O’Clock game between (1) Auburn and (19) South Carolina. If Auburn can pull it out they will advance to the BCS National Championship where they will meet either Oregon or TCU depending on the result of the Civil War (3:30 ABC). The other major storyline in this SEC throw down is the controversy over Heisman hopeful and Auburn QB Cam Newton (We’ll save that for next time). The other guy to watch besides Mr. Newton is South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore. He wears number 21 and runs with pure power and amazing vision. To make things even better he is a in state 5 star recruit who will shape this program for years to come. For that reason I am gonna give the Gamecocks a chance but he’s gotta have the greatest day of his young career.   The second championship game of the day is for the ACC. This game features my team, (15)Virginia Tech  and the (21 )Seminoles of Florida State. I like this matchup especially being a tech fan because of the 3 or 4 man rushing attack of the Hokies. This attack usually starts of with RB’S Darren Evans and Ryan Williams, Then as the game rules on speed back David Wilson gets some touches and opens up a whole new element with Tyrod Taylor in the option offense. This will work especially good against FSU even though their average Corner runs a 4.4 they have had trouble stopping the run all year. On the flip side when the Noles have the ball they let their senior QB Christian Ponder sling around the pigskin to variety of fast and physical receivers. My matchup to watch is the Seminoles vs The Crowd. Even though it says neutral site it is projected to be an 80% Tech crowd in nearby Charlotte,NC. If FSU can quiet the crowd early with some scores they will really make Tech work for it but if the Hokies “Lunchpail” Defense led by sophomore LB Bruce Taylor can get the place rocking early and often this game could be over by Halftime. The final Conference Championship game of the day is in the Big 12 between (9) Oklahoma and (13) Nebraska. This game is definitely intriguing and a major toss-up. From the North you’ve got the Cornhuskers who are power team with the usual down hill back (Roy Helu Jr.) but have a very talented yet uncharacteristic Quarterback for a Nebraska team (Taylor Martinez) who can rush for close to 100 yards in a game. Then from the South you’ve got the Sooners who run a fast spread offense and like every single season they will win by scoring close to 50 pts a game and having an explosion of raw speed and talent in their backfield (Landry Jones and DeMarco Murray) . My key for this Heavyweight Bout is the Nebraska Defense vs Landry Jones. The Huskers will have to hit Jones early and often to make the Sooners become one dimensional up front with just draw plays or sweeps to Murray which they should be able to stop. If they fail Jones will have a monster day and keep the 11 guys on the other side of the ball guessing and on their heels the whole game.   

Landry Jones

My Picks

SEC Championship 4:00 (CBS) South Carolina vs Auburn     Pick: South Carolina

ACC Championship: 7:45 (ESPN) Florida State vs Virginia Tech    Pick: Virginia Tech    

Big 12 Championship:8:00 (ABC) Nebraska vs Oklahoma Pick: Oklahoma