2012 CFN Post-Spring Rankings - No. 71 to 80
Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse
Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse
Posted May 6, 2012

Based on where we think the teams are going to end up, here are the CFN post-spring rankings - No. 71 to 80

CFN 2012 Post-Spring Rankings

No. 71 to No. 80

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.

80. Tulsa
(2011 Record: 8-5, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 6-6)

The Golden Hurricane has to get off to a hot start with home games against Tulane, Nicholls State, and Fresno State up after going to Iowa State. With a nice and soft midsection against UAB, Marshal, UTEP and Rice, there will be reason to get fired up about a possibly great season - and then November hits. At Arkansas, at Houston, UCF, and at SMU will potentially kill any and all momentum, but it should still be a good year with another good-looking passing game and just enough good hitters to hope for a solid year from the defense. There isn't enough in the bag to play for the Conference USA title, but going to a bowl for this team will be a must.

79. Boston College
(2011 Record: 4-8, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

Will being plucky be enough? The team will be better but the record might not necessarily show it. The Eagles won't have RB Montel Harris, booting the offensive star from the team this offseason, but the backs are in place to once again pick up the slack. The passing game is experienced with Chase Retting getting his top targets back. Even without LB Luke Kuechly eight starters return to a defense that was a rock against the run, but has to start getting into the backfield. The schedule isn't exactly a breeze even Northwestern and Notre Dame on the non-conference slate, and there's a brutal stretch of four road games in five weeks, and five in seven weeks, before closing out with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and a trip to NC State.

78. Oregon State
(2011 Record: 3-9, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 3-9)

How quickly will the team be able to rebound after the disastrous 2011? The team might be more experienced with three starters returning to the offensive line and with Sean Mannion a good-looking quarterback to work around. With five starters back on the defensive front seven, being stronger against the run is a must with Wisconsin coming up early and with Arizona's Rich Rodriguez offense closing out September. Fortunately the Beavers miss USC from the South, but they have to face Utah and an improved Arizona State along with road trips to Arizona and UCLA. But where are the wins going to come from? Other than the opener against Nicholls State, OSU might not be favored the rest of the way against anyone other than Washington State.

77. Louisiana-Lafayette
(2011 Record: 9-4, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 8-4)

How do the Ragin' Cajuns build off of arguably the best season in school history? The offense should be even stronger with nine starters back, but the defense needs a ton of work up front. Even so, this should still be a favorite in the Sun Belt race getting top contenders Western Kentucky, FIU and Arkansas State at home. Going to Oklahoma State and Florida won't help the record, but the toughest away date on the conference schedule is a manageable trip to Troy. 

76. Connecticut
(2011 Record: 5-7, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

The first year under Paul Pasqualoni wasn't totally miserable, but the offense that was so great at running the ball under Randy Edsall didn't do much behind a poor line and the passing game wasn't effective enough. RB Lyle McCombs is a nice back to work around, but there has to be explosion from somewhere. The defense is going to take a step back on the line without Kendall Reyes and Twyon Martin, but the linebacking corps appears ready to be among the best in the Big East. Beating UMass to open the season is a must and cleaning up at home against Buffalo and Temple are givens. Three road games in a four date stretch and with a run of six road games in nine it's going to be tough sledding, but the team should be competitive enough to have a decent year. 

75. Colorado
(2011 Record: 3-10, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

Just enough decent players return to hope to improve upon last year's awful Pac-12 season, but new starters in the offensive backfield have to emerge and the defense has to come up with steady play in the defensive backfield. The schedule works out well early with Colorado State, Sacramento State at Fresno State and at Washington State light enough to hope for a 3-1 start or even 4-0. If the coaching staff could do enough to get the team up for an upset win over Utah late last year, it should be able to help pull off a few wins over teams like UCLA, Arizona State and/or Washington at home to hope for an improved record.

74. Maryland
(2011 Record: 2-10, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

Are the Terps really that bad? Did Randy Edsall suddenly forget how to coach? The program was miserable last year, but there's reason to be excited right away with nine starters back on offense and all five starters returning on the line. The defense didn't do anything against the run, but it should be stronger with a little bit of time and helped by the return of terrific DT Joe Vellano. Ten starters are back on a defense that will get tune-ups against William & Mary, Temple, and Connecticut before getting a chance to make a statement against West Virginia. It's a strange schedule without any road or home games in a row, alternating between road and home dates through all 12 weeks. 

73. Fresno State
(2011 Record: 4-9, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 7-5)

Pat Hill took the program about as far as he could, doing wonderful things to put the Bulldogs on the national map, and now it'll be up to Tim DeRuyter to usher in the new era in the Mountain West. First he has has to get more consistency out of an offense that'll work around underappreciated running back Robbie Rouse, while the veteran defense should be terrific under DeRuyter's hand. A run of four road games in six weeks will test the team's mettle in the middle of the season, while going to Boise State and closing out at Nevada and against Air Force could kill any conference title hopes. Even so, the Bulldogs should go bowling again.
72. Arizona
(2011 Record: 4-8, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 6-6)

Can Rich Rodriguez start to turn things around right away, and does he have the pieces to do what he wants to do? It's going to take a while to start running the ball effectively, but it'll be a whole new look for the Pac-12 South. The defense that was so disastrous last year gets back the entire line and should be decent in the back seven with a little bit of time. The Pac-12 as a whole is getting better and there isn't going to be an immediate turnaround, but yes, Rodriguez can coach, and yes, this offense will eventually work. Will it be rolling in time to beat Oklahoma State early one or have a prayer of staying with Oregon in the Pac-12 opener? No, but with four home games in the last six there's a shot at taking a big step forward and coming up with a bowl bid.
71. Northern Illinois
(2011 Record: 11-3, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 8-4)

After finally getting over the hump and winning the MAC title, the Huskies have to rebuild and reload, starting with replacing Mr. Irrelevant - the last pick in the 2012 NFL Draft - quarterback Chandler Harnish. Coach Dave Doeren will get the most out of his offensive line, and the running game will be fine with a little big of time, but losing four starters up front is never a plus. The defense will have to carry things early on with Iowa, Kansas and a road trip to Army to deal with. Fortunately, the MAC schedule isn't too bad outside of a road game at Western Michigan to close out a run of three away games in four weeks. NIU won't roll through the conference slate, but it'll still be a dangerous player in the race. 

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