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2012 CFN Post-Spring Rankings - No. 61 to 70
Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray
Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray
Posted May 6, 2012

Based on where we think the teams are going to end up, here are the CFN post-spring rankings - No. 61 to 70

CFN 2012 Post-Spring Rankings

No. 61 to No. 70

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.
70. Minnesota
(2011 Record: 3-9, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

The defense should be stronger in the back seven and can't be much worse up front, while the offense will work around QB MarQueis Gray and the running game. Jerry Kill is a terrific coach who'll get the ground attack going, but he might need one more year to get the pieces in place he needs to make it all work. After blowing layup games last year the Gophers can't take anything for granted, but getting UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan and Syracuse in the first month should mean a 3-1 start, at worst 2-2, while conference home games against Purdue and Northwestern are winnable. Outside of road games against Wisconsin and Nebraska, and home games against Michigan and Michigan State, there isn't one game on the slate the Gophers can't potentially win.

69. Houston
(2011 Record: 13-1, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 7-5)

And here comes the rebuilding job. Fortunately, the Conference USA schedule is just light enough to keep the Cougars from falling off the map and eight games against teams that didn't go bowling. The Cougars don't leave the city of Houston over the first six games and have to leave Texas just twice all year. New head coach Tony Levine knows what he's doing, and David Piland is a good enough quarterback to step in and produce right away in place of Case Keenum. However, all the top targets are gone from the offense and top linebacker Sammy Brown is gone off a defense that never got enough credit. Seven starters are back on D, but being back in the Conference USA title hunt will all depend on whether or not the offense can reload.

68. Iowa State
(2011 Record: 6-7, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

The Cyclones always seem able to come up with a shocking performance or two out of the blew to be better than expected, but this year that might be tougher than ever with road games at Iowa, TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas to likely provide a base of losses that'll be tough to get past. Opening up with Tulsa won't be a breeze, and getting Kansas State, Oklahoma, and West Virginia in Ames isn't exactly a help. The quarterback situation between Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz will be up in the air for a while, but the line should decent and the linebacking corps could be terrific with A.J. Klein and Jake Knott as good a tandem as any in the Big 12. There are too many holes to expect a great season, but again, Iowa State will shock to keep the year from being miserable. 

67. Wake Forest
(2011 Record: 6-7, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 6-6)

Somewhat quietly, the Demon Deacons came up with a good season with an opportunistic offense and just enough defense to get by. Five starters return to a defensive front seven that has to be far better at getting into the backfield, while the secondary needs to find replacements at safety. Losing NFL receiver Chris Givens will take away the explosion, but the running game will work just fine. If Wake Forest can win the ACC opener against North Carolina, a 4-1 start is possible with home games against Liberty, Army and Duke wrapped around a road trip to Florida State, but then things get nasty with four road games in six weeks. The regular-season ender against Vanderbilt might be a must to get to six wins. 

66. Southern Miss
(2011 Record: 12-2, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 6-6)

Considering how dominant Southern Miss was at times last year on the way to a Conference USA title, this will be a step-back season with so much rebuilding to do. New head coach Ellis Johnson has to rebuild and reload on offense, but the passing game should shine with either Arsenio Favor or Ricky Lloyd bombing away, and the running game should be terrific with Desmond Johnson leading the way behind a decent-looking line. The schedule isn't too awful without two road games in a row and with home games against Boise State and Louisville to make a statement, but it's going to be rough early before easing up late. Road games at UCF and SMU, though, should dash any hopes of repeating.

65. Ohio
(2011 Record: 10-4, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 9-3)

The MAC East powerhouse should have an even easier time with Temple gone to the Big East and with the top teams from the West - Northern Illinois and Toledo - not on the slate. The nastiest-looking East showdown should be against Bowling Green, and that's at home. With a stretch of five home games in seven dates and the two road games in the group at UMass and Miami University, the record should be fantastic. QB Tyler Tettleton should be in the mix for MAC Player of the Year honors while the Bobcat running game should be the Bobcat running game again. Three defense is loaded with the entire secondary back and most of the top players on the line returning.

64. FIU
(2011 Record: 8-5, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 9-3)

The Golden Panthers are loaded on the offensive line and should be able to pound away with the running game, but all the offense has to do is be competent with all 11 starters returning on defense. FIU should be the early favorite to win the Sun Belt title with so much talent returning, and it'll be a huge help to get the key conference game against Arkansas State and WKU at home. Three road games in four dates over the second half of the season will be a test, but any team good enough to win the Sun Belt title should be able to get through Troy, South Alabama, and Florida Atlantic away from home. But can Mario Cristobal's bunch come up with a key win or two in non-conference play against Duke or USC on the road or Louisville at home? It should be just good enough to make some noise.

63. Nevada
(2011 Record: 7-6, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 8-4)

The Wolf Pack gets to make the move to the Mountain West and should be decent right away. The offensive line is in place to get the running game going with QB Cody Fajardo an emerging star. Coming off a great year, the defense should be fine even with several good players gone including most of the key starters on the front seven. Fortunately, the secondary will be a plus and needs to be ready right away with the opening game at California. The league schedule isn't bad with Wyoming, San Diego State, Fresno State, and Boise State all coming to Reno, and while the date at Air Force won't be easy, Hawaii, UNLV and New Mexico are layup road games for a team good enough to potentially win the conference title. 

62. Toledo
(2011 Record: 9-4, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 8-4)

The coaching change won't matter too much considering Matt Campbell was brought up from within. However, he has a lot of holes to fill on offense with three starters gone off the line and undrafted playmaker Eric Page taking off in an attempt to be a pro. The defense also has some major holes to fill with losses on the line and in the secondary. Even with all the concerns it should be business as usual and the Rockets should be among the favorites to win the West. The team will be just good enough to have a puncher's chance against Arizona and Cincinnati, and there won't be a team on the MAC slate it can't beat.

61. Washington State
(2011 Record: 4-8, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 5-7)

Will the Cougars start to blossom under Mike Leach? If nothing else the team will be more fun and more explosive even after finishing ninth in the nation in passing. There are a lot of good pieces to play around with, and now it'll be up to Leach to put it all together. With nine starters back on defense there's a chance for the experience to translate into production. Starting things off at BYU will be interesting, but then the wins have to come with Eastern Washington, at UNLV, and Colorado to follow before going to Oregon. Road dates at Stanford and Utah in back-to-back weeks will be rough, and three road games in four weeks won't be easy, but if everything is humming like everyone is hoping for, a bowl game is possible.  

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