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2007 Sun Belt Preview - Unit Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 24, 2007


2007 CFN Preview - Sun Belt Unit Rankings from top to bottom

2007 CFN Sun Belt Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | Florida International
Middle Tennessee | North Texas | Troy |
UL Lafayette | UL Monroe

- 2007 CFN Sun Belt Preview
-
CFN All-Sun Belt Team & Top 30 Players
- Sun Belt Team-by-Team Capsules
- Sun Belt Schedules & Predictions

Offenses
1. UL Monroe
The best offense in the Sun Belt gets 11 starters back led by RB Calvin Dawson working behind a terrific line with several all-star candidates. QB Kinsmon Lancaster has a year of starting experience under his belt, and he has all his top targets to get the ball to including LaGregory Sapp and tight end Zeek Zacharie. While the attack will spread it out and allow Lancaster to use his mobility and big-time arm to find the right receiver, it'll be Dawson who carries the workload when things get tight.

2. Arkansas State
3. Troy
4. UL Lafayette
5. Middle Tennessee
6. North Texas
7. Florida Atlantic
8. FIU

Quarterbacks  
1. Troy
Omar Haugabook is the key to the Sun Belt season. As long as he stays healthy and is productive, Troy will be the main contender for the title. He can't press and he must cut down on his interceptions. Getting the backups quality live reps (and not just in garbage time) will be a must.

2. UL Monroe
3. UL Lafayette
4. Middle Tennessee
5. Florida Atlantic
6. Arkansas State
7. North Texas
8. FIU

Running Backs
1. Arkansas State
There are so many good backs that the runners alone should be able to shoot for a 2,000-yard season without the production from the quarterbacks. It won't happen behind a line that needs work, but this will still be the Sun Belt's premier running attack with this fantastic group.

2. North Texas
3. UL Lafayette
4. UL Monroe
5. Troy
6. Middle Tennessee
7. Florida Atlantic
8. FIU

Receivers
1. UL Monroe
 The Sun Belt's top passing game should be every bit as productive with everyone of note returning. LaGregory Sapp and Zeek Zacharie are all-stars who have to build on last year and combine for more than 80 catches. The rest of the targets have to start making more big plays and take advantage of the single coverage

2. Troy
3. Arkansas State
4. Florida Atlantic
5. Middle Tennessee
6. FIU
7. UL Lafayette
8. North Texas

Offensive Line
1. UL Monroe
ULM was third in the league in running and first in sacks allowed (and fifth in the nation), and now the key parts are back. Kyle Cunningham, Adam Hill and Aaron Schutz are all-star candidates who'll do a little bit of everything right and win games with their blocking. They're tempo setters allowing everyone time to work and giving Calvin Dawson and the running game room.

2. UL Lafayette
3. Middle Tennessee
4. Troy
5. Arkansas State
6. FIU
7. North Texas
8. FIU

Defenses
1. Troy
Troy won the Sun Belt title despite a mediocre year from the defense. Now the D will be positively dominant with the best secondary and a defensive line that's either the best, or a close second behind Middle Tennessee's. Generating pressure won't be a problem with phenomenal pass rushers from every spot, while the secondary will use five and six defensive backs at times just to get all its talent on the field. The linebacking corps is the weakness of the defense by default considering how good the line and secondary will be, but it'll still be fantastic with Boris Lee and Marcus Richardson each deserving all-star consideration. 

2. Florida Atlantic
3. FIU
4. Middle Tennessee
5. Arkansas State
6. North Texas
7. UL Monroe
8. UL Lafayette

Defensive Lines
1. Middle Tennessee
Without question, this will be the Sun Belt's best defensive line. It would be nice to have a little more beef on the inside, but that's not what the design is with quickness being at a premium. Expect at least 40 sacks, 100 tackles for loss, and games where the front line completely shuts down opposing Sun Belt offenses.

2. Troy
3. Florida Atlantic
4. North Texas
5. FIU
6. UL Monroe
7. Arkansas State
8. UL Lafayette

Linebackers
1. Florida Atlantic
The linebackers will do whatever they can to control games. When it's time to be more physical, this group will do it. When it's time to be steady against the run and read-and-react, this group will do it. Leodis Sincere is a disruptive force on the outside while Frantz Joseph and Andre Clark are All-Sun Belt caliber talents.

2. Troy
3. North Texas
4. Florida Atlantic
5. UL Lafayette
6. FIU
7. Arkansas State
8. UL Monroe

Defensive Backs
1. Arkansas State
Was the pass defense great because teams spent so much time running the ball, or was it because no one in the Sun Belt could throw, or was ASU just that good? All three. All the teams with decent quarterbacks (SMU, Auburn, Troy) threw without a problem on the ASU secondary, and all the good passers on this year's schedule will also throw at will. Everyone else will be shut down.

2. Troy
3. FIU
4. Florida Atlantic
5. UL Monroe
6. Middle Tennessee
7. UL Lafayette
8. North Texas

Special Teams
1. Troy
The coverage units have been great under Larry Blakeney and should continue to be. Leodis McKelvin is an elite kick returner, and the Greg Whibbs is more than just a serviceable placekicker. If the punting comes around, the special teams should once again be a strength.

2. UL Lafayette
3. North Texas
4. UL Monroe
5. Arkansas State
6. Middle Tennessee
7. Florida Atlantic
8. FIU

 

Related Stories
2007 Sun Belt Schedules & Picks
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 24, 2007
2007 CFN Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 24, 2007
2007 CFN Sun Belt Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 24, 2007




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