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2014 CFN Preseason Rankings - No. 61 to 70
Cincinnati LB Nick Temple
Cincinnati LB Nick Temple
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 20, 2014


2014 CFN Preseason Rankings - No. 61 to 70 - Searching For A Bowl


Preview 2014 - Rankings

No. 61-70

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2014 CFN Preseason Rankings
Top 4 | 5 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 128 
 - CFN Preseason Rankings 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007  
- Preview 2014 - All The Team & Conference Previews

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There's one very important distinction in the CFN preseason rankings: these are based on how good the teams are going into the season and NOT how they're going to finish. Some teams have easier schedules than others, some get tougher road games and some will need a little bit of time to jell, meaning they might be better than their final record indicates. Going into the year, these are how good the teams appear to be from No. 1 through 128.

70. Colorado State
Prediction: 7-5
3 Best Players: 1) QB Garrett Grayson, Sr., 2) TE Kivon Cartwright, Sr., 3) OT Ty Sambrailo, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Quarterback, 2) Receiver, 3) Special Teams
Spotlight Units: 1) O Line, 2) Secondary, 3) D Line
The season will be a success if … the Rams win the Mountain division. It might take an upset win on the road over Boise State to get it done, and going to Nevada won’t be fun, but schedule is just good enough for an above-average team to do big things with. A second straight winning season for the first time since 2002-2003 would be a major positive, but head coach Jim McElwain will have his team shooting for more.

69. Kansas
Prediction: 2-10
3 Best Players: 1) LB Ben Heeney, Sr., 2) SS Isaiah Johnson, Jr., 3) S JaCorey Shepherd, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Receiver, 2) Special Teams, 3) Linebacker
Spotlight Units: 1) Running Back, 2) D Line, 3) Quarterback
The season will be a success if … the Jayhawks win five games. After winning five games over the last three years, getting to the five-win mark of 2009 would be a huge step forward. There isn’t enough talent to come up with a winning season without a slew of big breaks, and it’s going to take a few upsets just to get to five wins, but it’s a goal the coaching staff needs to hit. Beating SE Missouri State and Central Michigan are a must, and coming up with a home win over Iowa State and at least one other Big 12 win are needed to get close, and then it might all come down to the road date at Duke and generating one other shocker.

68. Marshall
Prediction: 12-0
3 Best Players: 1) QB Rakeem Cato, Sr., 2) WR Tommy Shuler, Sr., 3) DT James Rouse, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Quarterback, 2) Running Back, 3) Linebacker
Spotlight Units: 1) D Line, 2) O Line, 3) Receiver
The season will be a success if … the Herd goes undefeated for the first time since 1999. Sure, a perfect season is never an easy task, regardless of the schedule strength, but Marshall is capable of running the table this fall. In fact, it’s going to require an upset for this program to be taken down in the regular season. As long as QB Rakeem Cato stays healthy, there’s no reason for the Herd to shoot below 14-0, ending with a Conference USA title and an exclamation point bowl victory.

67. Navy
Prediction: 9-3
3 Best Players: 1) QB Keenan Reynolds, Jr., 2) FS Parrish Gaines, Sr., 3) OG Jake Zuzek, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Quarterback, 2) Running Back, 3) O Line
Spotlight Units: 1) Receiver, 2) LInebacker, 3) Secondary
The season will be a success if … it's a ten-win season. With 15 returning starters, along with all the specialists and 51 total lettermen, there are veterans, there’s depth, and there’s even a little star power. If Navy beats the teams it’s supposed to, and if it can take advantage of all the home games, a nine-win regular season is possible with a Poinsettia Bowl win possibly needed to make it the first ten-win campaign since 2009. Assume losses to Ohio State and Notre Dame – if either one of those is a win, the prospects for the season change – and throw in the out-of-the-blue, the-other-D-figured-it-out loss to a South Alabama or a Rutgers, but there’s reason to shoot for big things.

66. Illinois
Prediction: 6-6
3 Best Players: 1) SS Earnest Thomas, Sr., 2) LB Mason Monheim, Jr., 3) QB Wes Lunt, Soph.
Relative Strengths: 1) Quarterback, 2) Linebacker, 3) O Line
Spotlight Units: 1) Secondary, 2) D Line, 3) Coaching
The season will be a success if … the Illini go bowling. There’s absolutely no excuse not to get another game with a nice schedule full of almost certain wins. If there’s going to be any sort of improvement overall this year, Illinois has to beat Youngstown State, WKU, Texas State, Purdue and Minnesota all at home. Right there is a one game improvement over 2013, and there has to be an upside somewhere along the way against a team like Iowa or Northwestern or Penn State. Does six wins and a bowl keep Tim Beckman around? Anything less won’t do it.

65. Iowa State
Prediction: 3-9
3 Best Players: 1) C Tom Farniok, Sr., 2) RB Aaron Wimberly, Sr., 3) TE E.J. Bibbs, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Receiver, 2) O Line, 3) Quarterback
Spotlight Units: 1) D Line, 2) Secondary, 3) Running Back
The season will be a success if … the Cyclones win six games and get back to a bowl game. Yes, the program is way overdue for a shockingly good season, and yes, just going to a mid-level bowl game might seem boring, but after last year’s 3-9 clunker, and with a schedule that’s missing any sure-thing win getting to 6-6 would be great. To do that, ISU has to beat North Dakota State, Toledo, Texas Tech and West Virginia at home, can’t blow the road game at Kansas, and has to sneak away with a win either at Iowa or TCU. Otherwise, it’ll take a few big upsets to get back to the post-season.

64. Boston College
Prediction: 5-7
3 Best Players: 1) C Andy Gallik, Sr., 2) LB Steven Daniels, Jr., 3) QB Tyler Murphy, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) O Line, 2) Linebacker, 3) D Line
Spotlight Units: 1) Receiver, 2) Quarterback, 3) Secondary
The season will be a success if … the team returns to the postseason. Boston College has hurdles in 2014. Who doesn’t? But Steve Addazio is building the kind of program he hopes can withstand the loss of personnel from one season to the next. The Eagles won’t leave the state of Massachusetts until Oct. 11, and the Nov. 22 trip to Tallahassee is the only time they’ll be a prohibitive underdog. Bowling for a second straight year will send a message that BC is through with being an Atlantic Division doormat.

63. Kentucky
Prediction: 4-8
3 Best Players: 1) DE Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Sr., 2) OT Darrian Miller, Sr., 3) DE Za'Darius Smith, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Linebacker, 2) D Line, 3) O Line
Spotlight Units: 1) Quarterback, 2) Receiver, 3) Special Teams
The season will be a success if … the Wildcats win five games. Remember, it’s not like they were that close to coming up with a winning season last year and just needed a few breaks – there’s still a ton of work needing to be done just to get close. UT Martin, Ohio and ULM are must wins, and coming up with the first SEC win since beating Ole Miss in early November of 2011 is a must, but the schedule overall isn’t that kind. Outside of – possibly – the home date with Vanderbilt, UK should be the underdog against everyone but the previous three must-wins, and getting to six wins would be fantastic, but a 5-7 season would be a very, very nice second year for Mark Stoops.

62. Rutgers
Prediction: 5-7
3 Best Players: 1) RB Paul James, Jr., 2) TE Tyler Kroft, Jr., 3) LB Steve Longa, Soph.
Relative Strengths: 1) O Line, 2) D Line, 3) Linebacker
Spotlight Units: 1) Running Back, 2) Secondary, 3) Quarterback
The season will be a success if … the Scarlet Knights win seven regular games and get to a bowl game. Expect many to predict doom and gloom against a schedule that sees Michigan, at Ohio State, at Nebraska, Wisconsin and at Michigan State, but Rutgers might be just good enough to win at least one them. Getting by Washington State would be nice, and beating Penn State, Navy, Tulane and Indiana is a must. There could be problems if a 13th game depends on beating Maryland on the road in the final game of the regular season, but if all goes well, the bowl bid should be secured by then.

61. Cincinnati
Prediction: 10-2
3 Best Players: 1) LT Eric Lefeld, Sr., 2) DE Silverberry Mouhon, Jr., 3) LB Nick Temple, Sr.
Relative Strengths: 1) Linebacker, 2) Receiver, 3) O Line
Spotlight Units: 1) Running Back, 2) Secondary, 3) Quarterback
The season will be a success if … the Bearcats win the American. Louisville is in the ACC. Rutgers plays in the Big Ten. Blake Bortles left UCF to play in the NFL. The road to a title is highway-wide for Cincinnati. It’ll be battled-tested coming off a salty non-conference schedule that includes trips to Ohio State and Miami, and East Carolina and Houston will visit Nipper Stadium. If quarterback play lives up to expectations, the Bearcats have every reason to be aiming for a third league title since 2008.











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