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2011 CFN First Look Rankings - The Bottom 20
North Texas RB Lance Dunbar
North Texas RB Lance Dunbar
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 17, 2011


The first look at the rankings for the 2011 college football season. ... The Bottom 20.



CFN 2011 First Look Rankings

No. 101 to No. 120


2010 CFN Final Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20

2011 CFN First Look Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20

It might seem way too early, but considering the returning starters and the teams coming back, before Signing Day and spring ball, where does everyone stand? Here's CFN's first look at all the teams for 2011. The 2010 CFN Final Ranking is based on the season the team had. The 2011 First Look Ranking is based on how good the teams appear to be at the moment.

120. New Mexico State     
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 114
2010 Record: 2-10    
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 117
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2009 Final Ranking: 112
2008 Final Ranking: 109

Third-year head coach DeWayne Walker is trying, and he has some veterans coming back on both sides of the ball, but is anyone any better? The offense still needs to find an identity while the defense has to discover playmakers in a hurry with the loss of CB Davon House and NT John Finau. The key right away will be the emergence of a real, live quarterback. Can sophomore Andrew Manley the man?

119. Eastern Michigan    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 116
2010 Record: 2-10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 120
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 0-12
2009 Final Ranking: 119
2008 Final Ranking: 113

Alright, Ron English. Can you be a miracle worker and make Eastern Michigan football decent? The offense has to replace several starters, with the biggest losses on the offensive line, but QB Alex Gillett should be one of the MAC's top playmakers. The defense gets eight starters back including most of the front seven. It can't be any worse, and the experience should translate into production.  

118. Akron

2010 CFN Ranking: 118
2010 Record: 1-11
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 109
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 102
2008 Final Ranking: 88

Rob Ianello's first season was a disaster, and he doesn't have enough top players returning to hope for a Miami University-like turnaround. The offense has to start scoring, but two starters, including left tackle Corey Woods, are gone off the offensive front, while a new running back has to emerge. The defense loses LB Mike Thomas but welcomes back tackling machine Brian Wagner in the middle.

117. Memphis  
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 115
2010 Record: 1-11
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 115
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2009 Final Ranking: 108
2008 Final Ranking: 78

Can Larry Porter get a little more luck in his second season? The offense will still be a work in progress, but QB Ryan Williams isn't a true freshman anymore. The problem is an offensive line that loses three starters, but the defense should be a bit better with eight starters returning. The D started two true freshmen last year and seven underclassmen.

116. Louisiana-Lafayette    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 107
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 116
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2009 Final Ranking: 92
2008 Final Ranking: 75

In a year of transition, ULL needs to hope new head coach Mark Hudspeth can get his offense working right away after coming in from Mississippi State. He has a nice quarterback in Chris Masson to work with, but the offensive line has been gutted with three starters gone and the top receivers needing to be replaced.

115. Buffalo     
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 117
2010 Record: 2-10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 9-3
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Ranking: 81
2008 Final Ranking: 52

Jeff Quinn's team got worse as the season went on, especially on offense. The Bulls have to find a steady running back and needs production out of one of the young quarterbacks. The defense is a bigger problem losing seven starters. You don't get better by losing FS Davonte Shannon and the entire secondary.

114. Middle Tennessee    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 96
2010 Record: 6-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 88
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 41
2008 Final Ranking: 70

This might be the year the Blue Raiders take a step back and don't contend for the Sun Belt title. Losing QB Dwight Dasher is both a minus (for his playmaking) and a plus (for his turnovers), but the rest of the offense should be decent. Losing just about everyone on defense will mean a losing season without some shocking performances.

113. UNLV    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 113
2010 Record: 2-11
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 79
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-8
2009 Final Ranking: 88
2008 Final Ranking: 93

Seven starters are back on an offense that couldn’t find an identity in Bobby Hauck’s first season, as he tries to bring some of his Montana magic to the Rebels. The defense that couldn’t stop anyone and was steamrolled on a weekly basis might be the real problem with no experience returning and the entire linebacking corps needing to be replaced.

112. New Mexico    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 120    
2010 Final Record: 1-11
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 108
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 117
2008 Final Ranking: 80.

If the Lobos are going to break through under Mike Locksley, this has to be the year with 18 starters returning including most of a defense that has to start stopping someone on a regular basis. All the top skill players are back, but there's still a major talent gap between UNM and the rest of the Mountain West.

111. UTEP
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 84
2010 Record: 6-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 80
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 103
2008 Final Ranking: 89

The problems at the end of last year should continue with just two starters returning. The offense will get all the focus early on, because you can't compete in Conference USA if you can't bomb away, but the defense could be decent early on with eight starters returning. The secondary could be a strength.

110. Western Kentucky 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 110  
2010 Record: 2-10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 118
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2009 Final Ranking: 120
2008 Final Ranking: Not Ranked
2008 Final Score: Not Ranked

Bobby Rainey left, Bobby Rainey right, Bobby Rainey up the middle. The Willie Taggart offense should be better with QB Kawaun Jakes more experienced and with eight starters returning ... led by Rainey, one of the nation's top running backs. the defense needs new linebackers, but eight starters return.

109. Arkansas State (4-8)  
2010 CFN Ranking: 101
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 94
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 95
2008 Final Ranking: 64

New head coach Hugh Freeze, the team's offensive coordinator, gets his chance to try to take ASU to another level. Getting back junior-to-be QB Ryan Aplin is the first step, and with all the other skill players returning, the offense should shine if replacements can be found on the offensive front. The defensive line is strong, but losing FS M.D. Jennings will be a problem..

108. San Jose State   
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 119   
2010 Record: 1-12
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 105
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-9
2009 Final Ranking: 113
2008 Final Ranking: 82

For being 1-12, the team wasn't horrendous with five close losses. The only FBS team to not beat another FBS team, the Spartans should change that early on this year as head coach Mike McIntyre welcomes back all 11 starters on defense and eight starters on offense. QB Jordan La Secla is gone, but there are several nice-looking skill players, and RB Brandon Rutley, to make some noise in the WAC.

107. Florida Atlantic 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 97
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 112
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Ranking: 83
2008 Final Ranking: 68

The disappointing 2010 should lead to a much stronger 2011 with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball, but the anemic offense needs to find a quarterback to replace Jeff Van Camp and targets to step in for Lester Jean and TE Rob Housler. The defense takes a huge hit at linebacker where Yourhighness Morgan has to be fantastic with Malik Eugene and Michael Lockley gone.

106. Central Michigan     
2010 CFN Score: 102
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 96
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 12
2008 Final Ranking: 56

After a clunker of a first year, head coach Dan Enos has to hope QB Ryan Radcliff can get more help from the running game. The offense should be better, and while the defense loses tackling machines Matt Berning and Nick Bellore at linebacker, and top tackle Sean Murnane up front, it has the potential to be good enough to win with.

105. Tulane
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 95
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 119
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2009 Final Ranking: 111
2008 Final Ranking: 112

The offense was miserable last season, but Bob Toledo is a good offensive coach and he gets eight starters to work with including quarterback Ryan Griffin and running back Orleans Darkwa. The defense might not be a rock, but it'll be full of veterans with nine starters returning including the entire linebacking corps.
 
104. Bowling Green 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 112
2010 Record: 7-7-1
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 114
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 65
2008 Final Ranking: 84

2010 was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and it has to show this season with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball. The rushing attack was the worst in the nation, so losing Willie Geter shouldn't hurt. Getting good quarterback play should be easier with Matt Schilz or Trent Hurley getting Kamar Jorden to throw to. The defensive ends are gone, but the secondary returns intact.

103. North Texas (3-9)   
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 99
2010 Record: 3-9  
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 102
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 110
2008 Final Ranking: 116

UNT might have the best coach in the league in former Iowa State head man Dan McCarney, and there's a chance for a night-and-day improvement if everyone can stay healthy. The Mean Green lost 12 starters to injuries in 2010, and seven of them come back to an already veteran squad. America, get ready to know the name Lance Dunbar; he could lead the nation in rushing with McCarney sure to feed him the ball. ranking.

102. Idaho 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 85
2010 Record: 6-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 97
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-10
2009 Final Ranking: 56
2008 Final Ranking: 118

Will this be the year Robb Akey's defense comes up with a stop? It'll need to be with eight starters returning and massive turnover on the offense. Brian Reader needs to pick up the slack for departed QB Nathan Enderle, and he'll have a veteran line to work behind.

101. Ball State
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 109
2010 Record: 2-10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 103
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 116
2008 Final Ranking: 18

Former Elon head man Pete Lembo will try to make the Cardinals decent, and he has the veterans to do it with eight starters back on both sides of the ball. True sophomore-to-be Keith Wenning has the time logged in to be ready, but he needs help from some new stars with RB MiQuale Lewis and WR Daniel Ifft gone. the defense has to replace DE Robert Eddins, but the back seven has the potential to be excellent.

2011 CFN First Look Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20