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State of the Game 2011 - Teams About To Rock
Michigan C David Molk
Michigan C David Molk
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 22, 2011


Fixing the scandals, Cam Newton, the Longhorn Network, and more. Along with the CFNers, check out the opinions on key topics going into the season from Matt Hayes from the Sporting News and the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein.


State of the Game 

Which Program Will Blow Up?


2011 CFN State of the Game Topics  
- Should The Death Penalty Be On The Table? 
- What One Thing Can Stop The Cheating? | Bloggers Analysis
- How To Fix The NCAA | Bloggers Analysis
- Is There Institutional Control? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Cam Newton Situation | Bloggers Analysis
Was Stanley McClover Telling The Truth? | Bloggers Analysis
Should Players Get a Bigger Stipend? | Bloggers Analysis
- Should a one-loss SEC team play for it all? | Bloggers Analysis
- Why isn't there a playoff? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Programs About To Blow Up | Bloggers Analysis
- Does The Longhorn Network Matter? | Bloggers Analysis
- What'll Happen In Ten Years? | Bloggers Analysis
- When Should Players Turn Pro? | Bloggers Analysis
- What's Your Beef? The Biggest Complaints | Bloggers Analysis

LIMITED TIME ONLY: CLICK HERE for a Free Week of Top-Rated Selections

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Question No. 9: Which program is about to blow up into a really big deal? 

E-mail Pete Fiutak 

I couldn't come up with just one.

10. All The Florida Schools Not Named Miami - Sometimes, all it takes is three to five extra good recruits to make a class go from good to phenomenal, and over the next five years, almost all the talent from the Miami area that normally would've been locks to become Hurricanes are going to sign on with the other Sunshine State schools.

9. Western Kentucky - Being a big deal is all relative. Willie Taggart is a terrific young head coach who's doing a whale of a job since taking over last year. The results have yet to come on the field, but he brought in the Sun Belt's best recruiting class, and the talent isn't going to stop coming with his eputation for cranking out top-shelf running backs. He was the RB coach at Stanford when Toby Gerhart was a near-Heisman winner, and he took WKU's hidden gem, Bobby Rainey, to another level.

8. North Texas-  Again it's all relative. UNT used to be the Sun Belt's superpower, but it hasn't been heard from in years. That should change after the brilliant hire of Dan McCarney, the former Iowa State head coach who should make the Mean Green a player in the conference race in a big hurry. After helping Barry Alvarez turn Wisconsin into a superpower, and after doing a strong job with the Cyclones, he knows how to rebuild.

7. Minnesota - Jerry Kill is a tremendous head coach who'll be the perfect fit. He might not be flashy, and he's not the slick-looking salesman type that Glen Mason and Tim Brewster were, but he knows how to run the ball and he knows how to put together a winner. Unlike the previous coaching staffs, he's doing a good job getting the in-state talent to take an honest look at the Gophers.

6. Colorado - This down period isn't going to last. Dan Hawkins wasn't and isn't a bad coach, but he was a miserable recruiter. The overall talent base in Boulder is awful, at least compared to when the Buffs were rocking in the old Big 12 North, and after so much mediocrity since playing for the 2005 Big 12 title, the move to the Pac-12 South should invigorate the program. Jon Embree is the right head coach to turn things around.

5. Syracuse - It's been completely forgotten that Syracuse was a superpower not all that long ago. Okay, it might have been over a decade since the Orange,  the Orangemen back then, were nationally relevant, but Doug Marrone is bringing the buzz back. The program is one big year away from turning the corner.

4. Clemson - Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Florida State appears to be back to being a mega-star, but Dabo Swinney is coming off a phenomenal recruiting season, finishing 11th in the Scout rankings, and he has the talent base in place to finally, finally, make the Tigers a national title contender, even though they're in the same division as the Noles.

3. BYU - The move to independence might turn out to be a brilliant one both on and off the field. The program will start to make a ton more money, it'll put together a fascinating schedule on a yearly basis, and after a year of rebuilding and retooling, the Cougars appear ready to become dominant again. Watch out for quarterback Jake Heaps to become a mega-star.

2. USC - They're getting through the storm. It might take another two years, but the program isn't taking as big a long-run hit as you might think. Once the bowl and conference title bans are lifted, it'll be business as usual.

1. Michigan - Rich Rodriguez stocked the shelves and built the program to get to this season. Now Brady Hoke gets to reap the rewards. Hoke is a big-time head coach who's about to become a superstar on a national scale, and this year he has the experience on defense to change things around right away, and he has the playmakers on offense to make the Wolverines a factor in the Legends race this year.

By Matt Hayes
Sporting News


Pitt. I really liked Wanny; a good dude who really cared about his university and the guys he recruited. And he recruited some talented players. Now Todd Graham is there, and he’s more like, shall we say, Tom Coughlin. In other words, it’s a new day at Pitt. He’ll whip those kids into a frenzy. It’s going to be fun watching them. A close second here: Miami under Al Golden. For the exact same reasons.

By Teddy Greenstein
Chicago Tribune


The next Oregon/Stanford will be … Michigan. OK, the Wolverines are already a big deal. But they’re positioned to win big – again – in the wake of the Ohio State collapse.

By Richard Cirminiello

South Florida. The Bulls have the right coach—Skip Holtz—and the right conference—the Big East—to perennially be in the BCS bowl hunt even after TCU arrives in 2012. The program has access to the recruiting base and facilities to really elevate into the national discussion over the next five years. Also keep an eye on Minnesota. Jerry Kill is one of those underrated head coaches who just knows how to make everyone around him better.

By Matt Zemek

Florida State. It looks as though Jimbo Fisher is recruiting quality and depth. I don’t trust Landry Jones to win in Tallahassee. Virginia Tech is breaking in a new quarterback. The rest of the ACC Atlantic is not in a position to do much of anything against the Seminoles – not now, not in 2012. Everything seems to be falling in place for Florida State on the road to renewed and sustained prominence.

By Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

Call it a shot in the dark, but I’m going to go with Utah. The Utes have already established themselves as one of the best non-AQ teams in the country. Now, with the Pac-12 power behind them and the recruiting base that opens up thanks to the added exposure, I could see them taking the next step to become a perennial BCS team.

2011 CFN State of the Game Topics  
- Should The Death Penalty Be On The Table? 
- What One Thing Can Stop The Cheating? | Bloggers Analysis
- How To Fix The NCAA | Bloggers Analysis
- Is There Institutional Control? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Cam Newton Situation | Bloggers Analysis
Was Stanley McClover Telling The Truth? | Bloggers Analysis
Should Players Get a Bigger Stipend? | Bloggers Analysis
- Should a one-loss SEC team play for it all? | Bloggers Analysis
- Why isn't there a playoff? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Programs About To Blow Up | Bloggers Analysis
- Does The Longhorn Network Matter? | Bloggers Analysis
- What'll Happen In Ten Years? | Bloggers Analysis
- When Should Players Turn Pro? | Bloggers Analysis
- What's Your Beef? The Biggest Complaints | Bloggers Analysis

LIMITED TIME ONLY: CLICK HERE for a Free Week of Top-Rated Selections

- Suggestions or something we missed? Let us know
- Follow us ... http://twitter.com/ColFootballNews