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2007 Preseason Rankings - No. 90 to 99

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 3, 2007


Preview 2007 CFN Preseason Rankings No. 90 to 99 ... Rebuilding or Has Holes


2007 Preseason Rankings

Probably Rebuilding - No. 90 to No. 99

At least two of these teams will finish much higher

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 might indicate. Going into the year, these are how good the teams appear to be from No. 1 through 119.

CFN 2007 Preseason Rankings
1 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 29 | 30 to 39 | 40 to 49 | 50 to 59
60 to 69 | 70 to 79 | 80 to 89 | 100 to 109 | 110 to 119

90. UCF
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UCF Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... the offense should be excellent as long as a few receivers show up. Kevin Smith is a strong back to carry the offense until QB Kyle Israel gets comfortable with his new targets. The defense took its lumps last season with a slew of inexperienced players seeing time in key spots, and now the results should come, especially in the secondary.
The ranking is too high because ... everything will have to align perfectly to be a player in the Conference USA race. There are several concerns from the linebacking corps to the shaky, but experienced, secondary to the average offensive line. After the way last year played out with a lousy 4-8 campaign, anything less than a good start could be disastrous for the team's confidence.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Special Teams
Relative Weaknesses:
Linebacker, Wide Receiver


91. East Carolina
- East Carolina Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... this is the toughest team in Conference USA to figure out. If the offense can get steady play out of the skill players, and the secondary can be decent, the Pirates will be the wild-card in the league race. The defensive line should be the best in the conference, and good enough to make the rest of the defense look great at times. The tight ends will provide excellent safety valves for new starting quarterback Rob Kass.
The ranking is too high because ... there are way too many X factors to count on a consistent season. The cornerbacks will be a problem early on, the receiving corps will be a work in progress, and the offensive line needs to make a major jump in production from last year. This could be the type of team that can beat anyone in the league, and can lose to anyone.
Relative Strengths: Defensive Line, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses:
Secondary, Special Teams

92. Navy
- Navy Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... under head coach Paul Johnson, the team always produces better than its talent level should allow. If you thought the Navy running game was good before, wait until you see this year's version. This is the most experienced, talented backfield Johnson has had with a ground game that can score from anywhere on the field. Few teams are better at quickly plugging personnel holes with new starters who know exactly what to do.
The ranking is too high because ... any injury could be devastating to a thin line with no depth. Only three starters and seven lettermen return to a defense that'll have a hard time stopping if it has to be on the field for an extended length of time. Rashawn King is a good corner, but the secondary will likely get picked apart early on until a pass rush emerges. As always, there won't be any passing game outside of the occasional big play when opposing defenses have their guard down.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Linebacker

93. UNLV
- UNLV Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... the potential is there for a big, big turnaround after two tremendously disappointing seasons. The receiving corps is loaded with weapons, the ground game has good backs to work with, and Rocky Hinds should be better after gutting it out last year on a torn ACL. The defense should get to the quarterback on a regular basis while the back seven will be among the most athletic in the Mountain West, even if it's not all that talented.
The ranking is too high because ... the team was so bad last year that it has to hope for several big things to happen to see a big jump in the standings. Hinds, while healthier, is still coming off a knee injury, the defense has to show it can stop someone early on before things get out of hand. The secondary should be an issue and will desperately miss Eric Wright.
Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Special Teams
Relative Weaknesses:
Linebacker, Defensive Back

94. San Diego State
- San Diego State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... if everyone is healthy on offense, the attack could be devastating. Head coach Chuck Long is too good an offensive mind to allow for another mediocre year, and if he can have QB Kevin O'Connell, RB Lynell Hamilton, and his veteran line together for a full season, watch out. This is the type of team that could rise up and shock anyone in the Mountain West on a given day.
The ranking is too high because ... the defense isn't going to be up to snuff. If the offense isn't vastly improved, the D won't be able to pick up the slack. There's no apparent pass rush, the secondary is a potential nightmare, and there's no depth to rely on. The offense, while improved, has to make big strides after averaging just over 14 points per game.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses:
Defensive Line, Linebacker

95. Ohio
- Ohio Preview |
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... just like last year, the Bobcat running game will be devastating with Kalvin McRae pounding his way behind a good line. The defense should once again be among the MAC's best thanks to a great line and strong secondary. If the linebackers come through, few teams will be able to move the ball consistently.
The ranking is too high because ... the offense is supposed to be more versatile, but won't be. Oh sure, the Bobcats will try to throw the ball to keep the heat off McRae, but the receivers are mediocre and Brad Bower is an average passer. The team, like last year, is good enough to be among the MAC's top five, but not strong enough to win the whole ball of wax.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Special Teams
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Quarterback

96. Miami University
- Miami Univ. Preview |
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... the offense should be night-and-day better as long as the line is healthy. This is a big, experienced line that got hit by every wave of bad luck imaginable. If everyone is in place, the offense will hum thanks to QB Mike Kokal and RB Brandon Murphy. Defensively, it's a veteran crew that should be over the growing pains of last year and should be far better.
The ranking is too high because ... last year's 2-10 campaign might not have been an aberration. While the defensive back seven has the potential to be among the MAC's best, there are still way too many question marks on the line. Offensively, the line might be experienced, but it has to prove it can play. There's no true number one receiver to rely on right away.
Relative Strengths: Special Teams, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses:
Defensive Line, Receiver

97. UTEP
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UTEP Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... admittedly, the team should be much better than the ranking after a little while. The running game that was absent for most of last year should be stronger with Marcus Thomas getting more work. Nine starters return on a defense that should generate a consistent pass rush and should be decent in the secondary as the year goes on.
The ranking is too high because ... the D didn't stop anyone late last year and now has to replace the entire line. Offensively, the line needs to be far, far better to get Thomas and the running game rolling on a consistent basis. Jordan Palmer might not have been great game-in-and-game-out, but he was a good enough passer to carry the offense. Now the Miners have a glut of untested quarterbacks to replace their former star.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses:
Offensive Line, Defensive Line

98. Air Force
- Air Force Preview | Offense | Defense
| Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... considering the coaching change and the different offensive philosophy in place, having a smart, veteran quarterback like Shaun Carney is a luxury. As always, the Falcons should be able to run effectively as long as it's able to make the transition to a varied attack. The defense has two anchors to build around in linebacker Drew Fowler and safety Bobby Giannini.
The ranking is too high because ... the passing game isn't going to be there for a while, so the Falcons will have to rely on the ground game time and again to move the ball. Since the attack isn't going to be special anymore, without the option to rely on all the time, the offense could become stagnant at times. The defense is too small and too slow to see a big change in production after a lousy last few seasons.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Running Back
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Defensive Line


99. Akron
- Akron Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
The ranking is too low because ... the defense was a major plus last season and should be one of the MAC's best this season with eight starters returning. The linemen are large, the linebackers are quick, and the secondary is more than solid with nice depth. The offense has a good 1-2 rushing punch in Dennis Kennedy and Andre Walker to work around. The receiving corps is fast enough and experienced enough to be a strength.
The ranking is too high because ... the quarterback situation takes a downturn with the loss of Luke Getsy and the lack of a proven number one. The new starter won't have the best offensive line to work behind and will be challenged time and again with everyone loading up to stop the run. The special teams are just mediocre enough to get the Zips beat a few times.
Relative Strengths: Defensive Back Seven, Receiver
Relative Weaknesses:
Offensive Line, Quarterback

  

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