2012 CFN Post-Spring Rankings - The Bottom 12
South Alabama LB LB Enrique Williams
South Alabama LB LB Enrique Williams
Posted May 4, 2012

Based on where we think the teams are going to end up, here are the bottom 12 of the CFN post-spring rankings.

CFN 2012 Post-Spring Rankings

No. 113 to No. 124

2012 CFN Post-Spring Rankings
(where the teams will end up)
- Top Ten | Rankings 11-20 | Rankings 21-30
- Rankings 31-40 | Rankings 41-50 | Rankings 51-60
- Rankings 61-70 | Rankings 71-80 | Rankings 81-90
- Rankings 91-100 | Rankings 101-112 | The Bottom 12

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Which teams looked great this spring? Which ones reloaded, rebuilt, and looked surprisingly sharp? Which ones struggled a bit and need more time and more practice time? These are the CFN Post-Spring Rankings based on where we think the teams are going to finish up when all is said and done. Part of the rankings are based on talent and potential, and part of them are based on schedules and what the teams might do. Coming later this summer are the CFN 2012 Rankings based on how good the teams are.

124. Massachusetts
(2011 Record: 5-6, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 0-12)

It's going to be a rough first year for new head coach Charley Molner with no sure-thing wins and with some major rebuilding to do on both sides of the ball. A steady quarterback has to be found; a playmaking running back has to come forward; and the defense has to find playmakers up front and in the secondary. There aren't any games against FCS teams, and there aren't any breaks with seven of the first ten games on the road. Making matters worse, home games against Ohio and Bowling Green are against two of the East's best teams, while Central Michigan will be far better. It could be Buffalo or bust when it comes to getting a win.  

123. Memphis
(2011 Record: 2-10, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 2-10)

The hiring of Justin Fuente was a bit of a stunner when it happened, and the first year probably won't justify the call. Memphis needs a whole bunch of retooling and reworking, and it's going to take a long, long time before Fuente gets the offense to roll. He's a good offensive mind and should eventually make the Tigers interesting, helped by a veteran line, but the defense is going to be a nightmare again. Even with Dontari Poe in the middle the D didn't do anything, but three starters are back in the secondary. Beating UT-Martin in the season opener should be a lock, but that might be it unless the Tigers can win at home against Rice or Tulane.

122. UTSA
(2011 Record: 4-6, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

With games against teams like Texas A&M-Commerce, NW Oklahoma State, and McNeese State, the Roadrunners shouldn't have an awful record in their first season in the FBS. Ten starters return to a decent defense that should be solid, while the offense that was really, really young last year should be far stronger. If UTSA can win at South Alabama early and beat Texas State late, a winning season might be possible.

121. Tulane
(2011 Record: 2-11, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 2-10)

Tulane doesn't have to start from scratch, but it's a long way from being a player in any way in Conference USA. New head coach Curtis Johnson's first job will be to improve a horrendous offense that couldn't score, but his defense should be decent with seven starters returning and a few nice prospects in the secondary. Winning the Sun Belt games against ULM and Louisiana-Lafayette will be a must, and winning home games against UAB and Rice will be needed to have a nice season. However, it'll be a shock if the Green Wave is the favorite against anyone but ULM.

120. Florida Atlantic
(2011 Record: 1-11, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 3-9)

Carl Pelini has a ton of rebuilding to do with a program that fell way, way behind FIU and several other relatively young Sun Belt programs. The offense has to find something that works and the defense that returns ten starters has to be better with the intense coaching staff sure to ramp things up a few bit. Outside of Wagner in the opener and possibly South Alabama, there aren't any sure sure-thing wins on the lot. It'll take a slew of upsets to have any hope of winning six games.

119. Buffalo
(2011 Record: 3-9, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 2-10)

Can Jeff Quinn start to make things better? The offense has to find more consistency and needs the running game to rock behind a veteran line that could be the team's biggest strength. The defense gets eight starters back and can't help but be better with Quinn a solid defensive coach. With Morgan State and Kent State early on, coming up with two wins early should be possible. If that happens it could be a solid season with four home games in a row and only one true road game in the second half of the season. However, it'll take an upset or three to have any hope of getting to six wins.

118. UNLV
(2011 Record: 2-11, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 2-11)

Bobby Hauck is fighting the good fight to try the impossible to make UNLV relevant, but the program still needs to find more playmakers and has to get much, much better on the lines. There's a good group of running backs to work around, but a steady quarterback has to emerge to get the offense to start moving. The defense that couldn't stop anyone also has to replace several starters, but that might not be a bad thing. Coming up with a win over Northern Arizona early on and take advantage of a stretch of four home games in the first six will be needed with a brutal second half to deal with. The Rebels have to go on the road for six of the final nine games, but home games against New Mexico and Wyoming are winnable. Forget about road games at Utah State, Louisiana Tech, Boise State, or San Diego State.

117. Texas State
(2011 Record: 6-6, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 3-9)

The problem is that the Bobcats don't have a slew of layups. Stephen F. Austin is the only FCS team on the slate, so while Dennis Franchione's club won't be awful in its first and only season in the WAC, the record won't be there to show it. The quirky spread-option attack will roll up a ton of rushing yards - it could lead the WAC in rushing by a huge margin - while the veteran defense could be terrific up front.

116. Idaho
(2011 Record: 2-10, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 3-9)

The offense needs to settle on a quarterback as soon as possible and the defense has to replace six starters after not stopping anyone last year. Fortunately, the schedule has become far, far easier in the new world of WAC Lite. However, there aren't any sure things early on, even though it might seem like there are some lightweights on the slate. Eastern Washington is a tough FCS game to open and going to Bowling Green - one of the MAC's better-looking teams - won't be fun. With four road games in the final six and five in the final seven, taking care of every home date is a must.

115. New Mexico
(2011 Record: 1-11, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 3-10)

Bob Davie might be able to change things around just a little bit right away. The record might not be anything great, but the team should be far more competitive and it should come up with a solid ground game as the season goes on. The backs are in place to start cranking out yards early in Mountain West play. Yes, 3-3 really and truly is a possibility starting out with Southern and with New Mexico State and Texas State on the slate. There's still a ton of work to do to pull up out of the nosedive of the Mike Locksley era, but the coaching alone should be enough for a few wins and a positive step forward.

114. South Alabama
(2011 Record: 6-4, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 4-9 )

The Jaguars could be one of the surprising non-BCS teams you've never head of. It's a veteran squad coming off a decent year, including good fights with NC State and Kent State. The defense could be tremendous with ten starters back to a strong 3-4 defense. The offense won't put up too many points on the board, but it'll be strong on the ground with a little bit of explosion. This won't be a Sun Belt-title season, but USA will be a factor with home games against Florida Atlantic, FIU, and Middle Tennessee. However, seven of the final 11 games are on the road.

113. Akron
(2011 Record: 1-11, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 2-10)

Terry Bowden should make the Zips interesting after several seasons of complete and utter incompetence. There are enough veterans in place to expect a stronger season from the woeful offense, even with the line needing to be almost totally rebuilt. The defense has to try to go on without tackling-machine linebacker Brian Wagner, who took off for Arizona. Morgan State is the only easy game with a trip to Florida International tough and the opener against UCF a likely loss. Four of the final six games are on the road, so  don't expect a shocking turnaround even though there will be signs of life. Bowden will be good, it'll just take a little while.

2012 CFN Post-Spring Rankings
(where the teams will end up)
- Top Ten | Rankings 11-20 | Rankings 21-30
- Rankings 31-40 | Rankings 41-50 | Rankings 51-60
- Rankings 61-70 | Rankings 71-80 | Rankings 81-90
- Rankings 91-100 | Rankings 101-112 | The Bottom 12