CFN 2013 First Look Rankings
No. 81 to 90
2013 CFN First Look Rankings
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The Bottom 6
Past CFN First Look Rankings
CFN 2013 Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
- ACC |
Big East |
Big Ten |
Big 12 |
- MAC |
Mountain West |
Sun Belt |
- Based On Opinion ... CFN 2012
FINAL Rankings, Top 25
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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.
81. Bowling Green (8-5)
Right tackle Jordon Roussos. That's the only starter gone from an offense that sputtered and struggled all season long, but has the tools to do far more. Can quarterback Matt Schilz step up his play and be more efficient? Running back Anthon Samuel is a nice piece to work around, running behind a strong veteran line that was terrific in pass protection last season. The good 2012 was built all around the MAC's best defense that finished sixth in the nation in yards allowed. Heart-and-soul linebacker Dwayne Woods is gone along with all-star defensive tackle Chris Jones, but the other nine starters are back. The special teams needs some work, but punter Brian Schmiedebusch is a good one coming off a down season.
82. Louisiana Tech (9-3)
The program FINALLY got its wish and it's off to a bigger, better conference. Skip Holtz takes over for Sonny Dykes, and he has plenty of work to do for the nation's No. 1 offense in both scoring and yards. Eight starters are gone including quarterback Colby Cameron and receiver Quinton Patton, but record-setting running back Kenneth Dixon is back. With four starters gone off of one of the most productive offensive lines in America, the O could have problems early on. The defense finished dead last in college football, but it welcomes back the entire front four and corners Byson Abraham and Le'Vander Liggins. Now the Bulldogs have to find a pass rush as well as a strong safety to replace leading tackler Jamel Johnson.
83. Marshall (5-7)
The Herd might have lost out on a bowl game with a tough gaffe against UAB and a heartbreaking overtime thriller to East Carolina, but this was still among the nation's most explosive and fun teams. Quarterback Rakeem Cato and receiver Tommy Shuler are back from the nation's leading passing attack, and they should put on a show. The line could stand to be better, but four starters are back to generate a push for a running game that gets Kevin Grooms, Remi Watson and Steward Butler back to share the load. The defense has to be better after finishing last in Conference USA in scoring D and near the bottom in every other category. The entire front four returns led by pass rushers Jeremiah Taylor on the outside and Brandon Sparrow in the middle, but leading tackler, safety Dominick LeGrande, is gone along with fellow safety Okechukwu Okoroha.
84. Toledo (9-4)
The Rockets rocked over the first nine games, struggled late and got blown away in the bowl loss to Utah State, but the pieces are in place to come up with a special 2013. The offense should be among the best in the conference with nine starters returning led by star running back David Fluellen and quarterback Terrance Owens. Center Zac Kerin quarterbacks a terrific line that gets four starters back, and the 1-2 receiving punch of Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell should be deadly. The O has to be great because the D might have a few problems with just three starters returning. Three starters are gone from a secondary that was miserable, allowing almost 300 yards per game. Defensive tackles Phil Lewis and Danny Farr are gone on the inside, and tackling machine Dan Molls will be sorely missed at middle linebacker.
85. Ohio (9-4)
Can the Bobcats be the team that rocked over the first half of the season and in the bowl win over ULM, or will it be the version that inexplicably struggled over the second half of the year? Quarterback Tyler Tettleton returns to lead a loaded offense with eight starters returning. The line has to replace two starters, but that's the only real issue. Top target Donte Foster is back along with pounding running back Beau Blankenship. The defense is a slight issue losing six starters including three on the line and playmaking safety Gerald Moore, but Keith Moore is back in the middle of the linebacking corps and there's enough depth to fill in the holes.
86. Rice (7-5)
One of the nice surprises of 2012, Rice went on a second half tear with five straight wins to close out the year and a 6-1 record after starting out 1-5. The offense found a running game and the defense, for Rice, wasn't that bad. Now there are real live expectations with 20 starters returning including leading rusher Charles Ross and quarterback Taylor McHargue. All five starters are back on the line, but tight end Luke Willson is gone as is playmaker Sam McGuffie. The defense gets ten starters back, only losing end Jared Williams. Just about all the key players who made a tackle last season return with safety Paul Porras and end Cody Bauer two good ones to work around. Kicker Chris Boswell will be among the nation's best.
87. Air Force (6-7)
Losing a ton of starters is nothing new for Air Force – the program is built around a sort of apprenticeship. The offense will keep on rolling despite the loss of nine starters including quarterback Connor Dietz and all the top runners, but as the Falcons have shown over the years, skill players are replaceable. If just two starters are going to be back, it's not a bad thing that they're on the line with guards David Lore and Drew Kerber returning. The defense gets a little more talent back with five starters returning led by top pass rusher Alex Hansen. However, Alex Means and Austin Niklas are gone from a linebacking corps that has to be rebuilt.
88. UL Lafayette (9-4)
Head coach Mark Hudspeth has done a terrific job with the Ragin' Cajuns over the last few seasons, finishing up last year with four straight wins and a bowl victory over East Carolina. This year he has the team in place to win the Sun Belt title thanks to a loaded offense that led the league in scoring last season. The O line that did suck a great job in pass protection loses tackles Leonardo Bates and Jaron Odom, but the interior is back to blast away for Alonzo Harris and Effrem Reed. Quarterback Terrance Broadway has the offense to himself now, but he loses top target Javone Lawson along with Harry Peoples. The defense that was so terrific at getting into the backfield loses end Cordian Hagans, but tackle Christian Ringo is one of the league's top interior pass rushers. Three starters are gone in the secondary with only strong safety Trevence Patt coming back. Losing kicker Brett Baer is one of the biggest Sun Belt holes to fill.
89. Colorado (1-11)
After what Mike MacIntyre did with San Jose State, turning around Colorado should be a breeze. A year after the Buffs finished dead last in the league in almost all offensive categories, and last in the nation in total defense, there's nowhere to go but up. On the plus side, 19 starters return. On the negative, 19 starters who went 1-11, with the lone win coming 35-34 over Washington State, are back.
First and foremost, the defense has to stop someone after allowing 30 points or more in every game but the 22-17 loss to Colorado State in the opener. Two true freshmen were thrown in the mix on the defensive interior, but Josh Tupou is a big 325-pound body and Tyler Henington and Samson Kafovalu have the potential to shine in the rotation. Doug Rippy and Jon Major are gone off the linebacking corps, but three starters are back in the secondary. End Chidera Uzo-Diribe is the team's best pass rusher to build around.
The D was miserable, and the O wasn't much better, finished second-to-last in passing efficiency thanks to a line that got the quarterbacks killed. All five starters are back up front, but the quarterback situation has to improve. Kansas transfer Jordan Webb was out late in the year with a finger injury, and MacIntrye will open up the competition to see who can be the most efficient, accurate thrower. True freshman Donta Abron led a deep and young class of running backs, but they need room to move behind the lousy line. Inside receiver Nelson Spruce is the best of the targets.
90. Temple (4-7)
New head coach Matt Rhule has a veteran team in place, but he has to do more with it than Steve Addazio was able to do in the first year back in the Big East. The defense was bad, the offense worse, and after losing five of the final six game, there's still a ton of work to be done.
Depending on the formation, as many as ten starters are back for an offense that couldn't throw the ball and relied too much on Montel Harris and Matt Brown to run the ball. Those are the only two key players the offense loses, needing quarterbacks Chris Coyer and Clinton "Juice" Granger to be more efficient and more effective. All the other skill players are back along with all five starters on the line.
The defense had a nice pass rush, but the most productive lineman, John Youboty, is gone. The run defense has to be better, and it could be with Tyler Matakevich one of the Big East's rising young linebackers and Nate Smith and Blaze Caponegro two promising tacklers. Both safeties are gone – losing Vaughn Carraway will hurt – but all the top corner options return. The special teams will be a concern after losing punter/kicker Brandon McManus, one of the nation's top all-around kickers, and star returner Matt Brown.