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2011 CFN First Look Rankings - No. 76 to 100
Duke WR Donovan Varner
Duke WR Donovan Varner
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 17, 2011


The first look at the rankings for the 2011 college football season. ... No. 76 to 100

CFN 2011 First Look Rankings

No. 76 to No. 100


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.

100. Wyoming    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 104
201 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 107
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 75
2008 Final Ranking: 103

Just when it seemed like Wyoming was going to rebound from a disastrous 2010, and possible get back to its 2009 bowl form ... BOOM. QB Austyn Carta-Samuels texts head coach Dave Christensen that he's leaving for the JUCO route to a bigger program. If UW can quickly find a replacement this spring, with redshirt freshman Emory Miller the odds-on favorite, the rest of the pieces are there for this to potentially be the Mountain West's surprise team. Nine starters are back on defense including the entire front seven.

99. ULM
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 92
2010 Record: 5-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 104
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2009 Final Ranking: 78
2008 Final Ranking: 102

If it doesn't happen this year, it might never happen for a program that's been achingly close to being a Sun Belt player. With nine starters returning on both sides of the ball, and with a good-looking young quarterback in Kolton Browning, the offense should be among the best in the league. The defensive front should be strong. This will be the Sun Belt's most experienced team, but will it translate into more wins?

98. Kent State   
2010 CFN Score: 82
2010 Record: 5-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 90
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 87
2008 Final Ranking: 96

New head coach Darrell Hazell knows Ohio and he should recruit well, but for 2011 he has to generate some semblance of offense with nine starters back. Spencer Keith is a good-looking young quarterbacks, and Tyshon Goode is a dangerous receivers. The entire offensive line returns intact, while pass rushing terror Roosevelt Nix is back to star on the defensive front.

97. UAB  
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 83
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 113
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 80
2008 Final Ranking: 100

The Blazers weren't as bad as the 4-8 record might appear, and they should be in the mix for a bowl game with 17 starters returning. The defense has the potential to be fantastic led by a good-looking young linebacking corps. QB Bryan Ellis and RB Pat Shed should rock working behind a line with four starters returning, but the receiving corps will need some work.

96. Western Michigan    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 77
2010 Record: 6-6
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 98
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 94
2008 Final Ranking: 50
2008 Final Score: 10.42

This is probably way, way too low. The Broncos were a fringe bowl team last year, and now they get back nine starters on defense and QB Alex Carder for the offense. The one big concern is the interior of the offensive line that needs a wholesale change. The entire defensive front seven returns intact.

95. Ohio 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 52
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 81
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 41
2008 Final Ranking: 95 

The final 2011 record will be far, far better than this. Eight starters are back on offense, but Phil Bates has to go from being a runner to an accurate passer who can move the ball through the air. Four starters are back on defense, but the linebacking corps should be among the best in the MAC. The problem early on will be the front four that needs retooling, and a secondary that loses three key starters.

94. Troy 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 56
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 100
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 49
2008 Final Ranking: 47

The defense hasn't exactly been up to Troy standards over the last few years, and there should still be problems even with seven starters returning. QB Corey Robinson should ensure a good year from the offense, but he needs to find new targets with Jerrel Jernigan and Tebiarus Gill gone. Three key starters are gone off the O line.

93. Temple
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 51
2010 Record: 8-4
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 77
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 60
2008 Final Ranking: 86

One program's trash ... Steve Addzio was close to becoming the Florida head football coach after Urban Meyer's first retirement, and now he's the Temple head man. Al Golden left with some decent players intact, led by the running back combination of Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown working behind a line with four returning starters. The early exit of DT Muhammed Wilkerson to the NFL is a problem, but the bigger problem could be the loss of linebackers Elijah Joseph and Amara Kamara.

92. Utah State   
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 89
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 91
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 93
2008 Final Ranking: 106

Is this when Utah State turns a corner? Head coach Gary Andersen things so, and while his offense loses QB Diondre Borel, it gets back nine starters not including RB Robert Turbin, the star of the 2009 season who tore up his knee before last year. The defense will need help in the secondary with three starters gone, and finding two productive defensive tackles is a must.

91. Rice    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 94
2010 Record: 4-8   
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 111
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 118
2008 Final Ranking: 31

Head coach David Bailiff loses offensive coordinator David Beaty to Kansas, but the Owl offense should be terrific no matter who's coaching it with ten starters returning. WR Patrick Randolph is the only missing piece, while the defense has the potential to be better with the entire secondary returning. Finding new DEs will be Job One.

90. Hawaii
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 21
2010 Record: 10-4
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 86
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-7
2009 Final Ranking: 77
2008 Final Ranking: 59

QB Bryant Moniz is back, and he'll need to be phenomenal with just three starters returning to the high-octane offense. The Warriors always find receivers, but restocking the offensive front will be a huge problem. The defense wasn't exactly a rock last year, and now it has a ton of work to do replacing several good, sound starters. Kicker Scott Enos will be missed.

89. FIU    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 63
2010 Record: 7-6
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 110
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 105
2008 Final Ranking: 90

Can FIU build on its breakthrough season? Helped by WR T.Y. Hilton's decision not to turn pro early, absolutely. The Golden Panthers should be everyone's favorites to win the Sun Belt with eight starters back on offense and seven returning on defense, but it would be nice if the offense could find more pop with QB Wesley Carroll doing more. Losing Cedrick Mack and Brad Serini off the offensive line will hurt.
 
88. Colorado State  
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 106
2010 Record 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 101
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 101
2008 Final Ranking: 55

The 2010 team had to work through the growing pains of a true freshman quarterback. As Pete Thomas goes, so go the Rams. Former UCLA RB Raymond Carter leads the ground attack, while CSU gets back seven starters on defense including most of the back seven.

87. Marshall    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 87
2010 Record: 5-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 95
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 57
2008 Final Ranking: 77 

Doc Holliday might be hoping for a stronger offense, but he needs to find a quarterback to replace Brian Anderson and needs to come up with a few new targets. The defense, however, should be phenomenal with pass rushing terror Vinny Curry returning on one end to make up for the loss of Marion Harvey from the linebacking corps. The entire secondary returns intact.

86. Army 
2010 CFN Ranking: 71
2010 Record: 7-6
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 78
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Ranking: 104
2008 Final Ranking: 108

Rich Ellerson did the near impossible and made Army good, but now he'll have to do some major rebuilding. In time, the offense should be smoother with QB Trent Steelman knowing what he's doing, but four starters are gone off the line. The bigger problem will be a defense that loses seven starters including heart-and-soul tackling machine Stephen Anderson. The line and secondary are almost starting from scratch.
 
85. Minnesota  
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 91
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 71
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 70
2008 Final Ranking: 71

New head coach Jerry Kill might not have the line he needs to run the offense the way he wants to, but MarQueis Gray could become a superstar at quarterback if he takes to the attack. The defense has a good base to start with thanks to nine returning starters from a group that got better as last year went on. The entire front seven returns.

84. Kansas    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 108
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 58
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Ranking: 74
2008 Final Ranking: 39

Can Turner Gill actually coach? He has the veterans to try to make things better with ten regular starters (depending on the formation) back on offense, but the first step will be to establish the quarterback situation hoping that Jordan Webb can be the main man. the defense gets just about everyone back on the front line and in the secondary, but it has to come up with some key replacements at linebacker.

83. Duke    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 100
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 75
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 97
2008 Final Ranking: 79

Will David Cutcliffe be able to make the offense sing with nine starters returning? QB Sean Renfree leads a potentially explosive attack that only loses one starter off the line and Austin Kelly from the receiving corps. The defense is hardly going to be a rock, but the Blue Devils should be fun in shootout after shootout.

82. Louisiana Tech    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 86
2010 Record: 5-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 82
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 89
2008 Final Ranking: 63 

The Bulldogs should be two games better this season with most of the starters back on offense, but it'll be a dogfight this offseason to see who'll be the starting quarterback for the Sonny Sykes offense. Finding a replacement for WR Phillip Livas and OT Rob McGill will be tough. 

81. East Carolina    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 62
2010 Record: 6-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 99
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 29
2008 Final Ranking: 34

Ruffin McNeill’s defense was a disaster, but it gets back seven starters after what was clearly supposed to be a rebuilding year. Dominique Davis is one of the nation's most dynamic quarterbacks, and while he loses WR Dwayne Harris, he gets almost everyone held back. the offensive line, though, will be a problem early on with four starters needing to be replaced.

80. Wake Forest 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 103
2010 Record: 3-9
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 55
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Ranking: 76
2008 Final Ranking: 32

Wake Forest had injury problems throughout last year, and if the quarterback situation can be settled early on, the potential is there for a bounceback season with eight starters back on offense and nine starters back on D. The only hits taken are at running back with Josh Adams done, and in the linebacking corps with Hunter Haynes and Matt Woodlief gone. The painfully young defensive front four that took its lumps in 2010 should be far better.

79. Fresno State 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 57
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 68
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-5
2009 Final Ranking: 54
2008 Final Ranking: 65

Alright, Fresno State; you don't have Boise State to kick you around anymore. The aggressive defense loses pass rushing terror Chris Carter, but it gets back Logan Harrell in the middle of the line, where he should be an All-American. The running game, led by Robbie Rouse, should be terrific in time, but the line has to replace four starters and a new quarterback has to emerge with Ryan Colburn gone..

78. Washington State  
2010 CFN Final Ranking:105
2010 Record: 2-10    
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 89
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 115
2008 Final Ranking: 115

After a few years of complete and utter incompetence, Washington State might finally be competitive with 17 starters returning with QB Jeff Tuel needing to crank out more production with the entire receiving corps coming back. The young secondary returns intact, while the linebacking corps could be sneaky-good in time.

77. Miami University 
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 37
2010 Record: 10-4
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 93
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2009 Final Ranking: 114
2008 Final Ranking: 117

Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell inherits a loaded team from Mike Haywood. The defending MAC champs have no excuse to not keep the fun going with nine starters back on both sides of the ball. There should be a fun quarterback situation with Zac Dysert returning to battle with Austin Boucher, and the winner of the gig (it'll be Dysert) will get to work behind one of the MAC's best lines. The entire defensive front four is back, and the sophomores of last year should be fabulous juniors now that they have a year of experience.

76. Iowa State    
2010 CFN Final Ranking: 74
2010 Record: 5-7
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 63
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 67
2008 Final Ranking: 110

The Cyclones have the unenviable task of trying to improve in the new Big 12 without its main weapons. Gone are QB Austen Arnaud and RB Alexander Robinson, and two good starters, Alex Alvarez and Ben Lamaak, are gone from the front five. The defense needs to carry things for a while with seven starters coming back.

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