CFN 2013 First Look Rankings
No. 111 to 120
2013 CFN First Look Rankings
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CFN 2013 Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
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- Based On Opinion ... CFN 2012
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It might seem way too early, but considering the
returning starters and all the other factors before
Signing Day and spring ball, where does everyone
stand? Here's CFN's first look at all the teams for
2013. The First Look Ranking is based on how good
the teams appear to be at the moment.
111. UTEP (3-9)
It’s a new era with Sean Kugler taking over for Mike Price. Can he finally produce a steady winner? The offense has to find something that consistently works, and that starts with finding a quarterback to replace Nick Lamaison. Running back Nathan Jeffery is a nice place to start, but the line has to be better despite losing center Eloy Atkinson and right tackle James Nelson. The defense that was such a disaster under Price gets everyone back up front with four senior starters returning. Leading tackler Josh Fely has to be replaced on the weakside and Aubrey Alexius is done on the other side, but the biggest problem is in the secondary with strong safety Shane Huhn the only one coming back. The team’s biggest loss, though, might be punter Ian Campbell, who helped the Miners finish 11th in the nation in net punting.
112. North Texas (4-8)
The Mean Green might be closer than it appears to getting back to a winning level. Moving up in weight class to Conference USA might not appear to be a plus, but eight starters return to a nice defense that did a decent job. Linebacker Zach Orr will be among the new league’s top tacklers, and even though top pass rusher K.C. Obi is gone, there are plenty of options ready to step up and do more. All four starters are back to a young secondary with good potential. The offensive line led the nation in fewest sacks allowed, giving up just six all season, and now it welcomes back four starters, only losing center Aaron Fortenberry. Quarterback Derek Thompson is back along with several decent targets, but he loses leading receiver Ivan Delgado. Brandin Byrd and Antoinne Jimmerson form a good running tandem.
113. Memphis (4-8)
While 4-8 in Conference USA might not be cause for celebration, it wasn’t an awful first season for Justin Fuente. His team improved as the year went on, finishing off with a three-game winning streak. However, it’s going to be a fight to do too much in the first year in the Big East.
The offense finished dead last in Conference USA in yards and passing, but it was an efficient attack. Jacob Karam is back under center, but he loses top target Marcus Rucker. Keiwone Malone and Reggie Travis should get the passing game going a bit more. The combination of Jai Steib and Brandon Hayes should be able to get the ground game going behind a line that gets four starters back.
Third in the league in total defense, the Tigers get eight starters back including the entire line and six players in the front seven. Martin Ifredi is a rising star at one end, while Johnnie Farms and Terry Redden are big bodies on the inside for a run defense that allowed just 138 yards per game.
114. UAB (3-9)
Can the Blazers pick up where they left off late in the year? A clunker against Memphis aside, the offense started to work thanks to a good passing game and the emergence of then-redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown. Eight starters are back on offense, but the line that had so many problems needs to be far, far stronger with four starters back. Leading rusher Darrin Reaves and top receiver Jackie Williams are back. The defense did a good job of getting into the backfield, but the star of the show and the nation’s leading tackler, linebacker Marvin Burdette, is finished along with two starters in the secondary. The entire defensive line is back but needs to be night-and-day better against the run.
115. Old Dominion (11-2)
The Monarchs could be an interesting surprise in their new conference and new class. ODU lost in the FCS playoffs, but still finished the season No. 1 in the nation in total offense, scoring offense and passing offense – and all the parts are back. Taylor Heinicke isn’t exactly Johnny Manziel, but he’s not far off after leading the FCS in total offense and finishing second in passing efficiency. In all, nine starters are back, but leading receiver Nick Mayers has to be replaced. The defense was a problem against the run, but the pass rush was incredible. Leading sacker and tackler Craig Wilkins is the main man missing, making Caleb Taylor the new star of a veteran D that gets back eight starters including the entire secondary.
116. Florida International (3-9)
You wouldn’t have been shocked if you were told last year at this time that Mario Cristobal wouldn’t be the head coach in 2013 – you would’ve assumed he took a bigger and better job. Instead, he’s gone after a miserable 3-9 season and in comes Ron Turner to try firing up a lousy offense. The Golden Panthers’ biggest problem was the O line, so for good and bad all five starters have to be replaced. Quarterback Jake Medlock needs more time to work to get the ball to Willis Wright and a decent young corps of receivers. Kedrick Rhodes should be among the Conference USA’s best backs if he gets room to move. The defense was solid against the run but struggled way too much against the pass. Seven starters are gone on D including top tackling safety Jonathan Cyprien and the team’s best pass rusher, Tourek Williams. Richard Leonard is one of the nation’s best returners.
117. UTSA (8-4)
The good: Larry Coker’s UTSA team went 8-4. The bad: it didn’t beat anyone with a pulse. Call the first year in the FBS a training time with victories over four FCS teams along with Idaho, Texas State, New Mexico State and South Alabama. Even so, this should be an interesting team with all 11 starters returning on offense including quarterback Eric Soza and speedy veteran running back David Glasco. The defense is also loaded with veterans led by linebacker Steven Kurfehs, corner Erik Brown and safety Triston Wade, but Brandon Reeves is a key loss from the linebacking corps. All the ends are back along with the three safeties in the 4-2 5 scheme.
118. Eastern Michigan (2-10)
After a disastrously disappointing season, the Eagles have to replace several key starters and have to try to improve in certain areas by leaps and bounds with new starters. The run defense was the worst in the nation, and while three starters are back up front, the linebacking corps has to undergo an overhaul. Two starters are gone from a secondary that was fine, but nothing special. The offense that relied too much on the quarterback will once again hope for Tyler Benz to get things moving. Bronson Hill is a promising running back operating behind a line that has to replace the left side and loses center Corey Watman. All the top wideouts are back, but tight end and leading receiver Garrett Hoskins is gone.
119. Texas State (4-8)
After getting its feet wet in the WAC, Texas State is now ready to do more in the Sun Belt with 16 starters returning including eight on an offense that should be strong for the ground game. Four starters are back up front, only losing tackle Adley Eshraghipour, and quarterback Shaun Rutherford and running back Marcus Curry have to be replaced. Everyone else is back including all the top receivers including top target Andy Erickson and interior receiver Isaiah Battle. The Bobcats struggled too much against the run, but four senior starters man the front line. Middle linebacker Joplu Bartu is gone after leading the team in both tackles and sacks, and corner Darryl Morris and safety Jason McLean are also done. Xavier Daniels should be among the Sun Belt’s best safeties.
120. Akron (1-11)
The first year of the Terry Bowden era had its moments with lots of passing and some big numbers, but the only win came against Morgan State. The defense wasn’t miserable, but it didn’t generate any pressure and now needs Alfonso Horner and the young front four to shine. Seven starters are back on defense, but the linebacking corps needs work. Bomber Dalton Williams is gone, so now it’s up to Kyle Pohl to be the main man for the potentially loaded attack. The right side of the line has to be replaced, but almost all the key playmakers, including running back Jawon Chisholm, return.