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2007 Preseason Rankings - No. 80 to 89
Preview 2007 CFN Preseason Rankings No. 80 to 89 ... Admittedly Underrated
2007 Preseason Rankings
Admittedly Underrated - No. 80 to No. 89
No argument here if you think some of these teams should be
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.
The predicted finishes don't take into account possible bowl games
or conference championships.
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 |
90 to 99 |
100 to 109 |
110 to 119
San Jose State
San Jose State
The ranking is too low because ... Adam Tafralis went from being
in a quarterback battle to start last season to becoming the steady
leader of a strong team. There's explosion in the backfield with Yonus
Davis leading a quick, experienced group of running backs. Defensively,
head coach Dick Tomey has most of his guys in place to build on a
shocking season. LB Matt Castelo and corners Dwight Lowery and
Christopher Owens should be All-WAC stars.
The ranking is too high because ... the receiving corps has to
undergo a total overhaul. Was Tafralis really that efficient, or was it
his receiving corps that made him look so good? The defensive front has
to do a better job in all areas, while the offensive line has to replace
three starters and still find a way to improve the pass protection.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Special Teams
Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line
Houston Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... the defending Conference USA
champions get a world of experience back, and even some of the main
replacements, like QB Blake Joseph in for Kevin Kolb, has experience.
The receiving corps is explosive, Anthony Alridge is one of the nation's
best home run hitting backs, and the linebacking corps will be among the
best in the league.
The ranking is too high because ... Joseph isn't Kolb. Kolb was a
special player who put together a brilliant four-year career as the
leader and face of the program. You don't just replace a player like
him. The secondary will be a question mark early on, and the special
teams will likely be mediocre enough to cost the Cougars a shot at
Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Linebacker
Weaknesses: Quarterback, Secondary
Tulsa Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... if Todd Graham could make Rice
look like a real, live Conference USA player, then he should be able to
work wonders with a Tulsa team good enough to challenge for the title.
Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who wasn't allowed to run his offense
at Arkansas last year, should be great with QB Paul Smith in place to
run his hurry-up, no-huddle, up-tempo attack. Defensively, Graham is the
school's former defensive coordinator and is familiar with many of the
players he helped bring to the school. Now that he's back, expect more
The ranking is too high because ... there are big holes to fill.
The receiving corps and offensive line are average at best, the
defensive line isn't anything special, and the cornerbacks have to prove
they can be left on an island with the front six being so aggressive.
The real key to the season is the offensive line that will undergo some
major personnel changes.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
SMU Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... of Justin Willis. The
sophomore quarterback is one of Conference USA's more accurate passers
with all the skill and talent to be the franchise player to carry the
program to a big season. Helping out is a good, experienced offensive
line that should pave the way to a nice season for the running game. The
defense has a nice group of linebackers led by All-America candidate
Reggie Carrington, and the special teams should be among the league's
The ranking is too high because ... the defensive line could be a
problem early on after losing two stars in Justin Rogers and Adrian
Haywood, and there won't be nearly enough of a pass rush early on. The
secondary is just average enough to get picked apart by the better
quarterbacks when they get a little time to work. Offensively, Willis
will have to make his receivers look far better than they are.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line
State Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... the offense will be among the
most productive in the nation. Last year, it was third in the country
averaging 475 yards per game and 15th in scoring averaging 31 points per
game. Now, all the key parts are back with nine returning starters
including QB Chase Holbrook, WR Chris Williams, and four offensive
linemen. This group will win games simply by outbombing most average
The ranking is too high because ... the defense still won't be up
to snuff. Eight starters might return, and there might be a move to
being more aggressive and creating more turnovers, but there's no proven
pass rush to rely on and there isn't a whole bunch of talent in the
secondary. The offense might be tremendous, but there won't be any
semblance of a running game to rely on. While that's sort of by design,
if Chase Holbrook isn't on, of if he gets hurt, the machine will break
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
Running Back, Defensive Front Seven
Memphis Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... the Tigers lost five games
last season by a touchdown or less and now appear to be better with more
experience on both sides of the ball and more potential for explosion on
offense. Joseph Doss is a good back who should shine with improved play
from the line. The defense was a nightmare, but now has a nice mix of
talented new starters to blend in with the veterans.
The ranking is too high because ... the secondary has a long,
long way to go before it's respectable. An overall lack of a pass rush
didn't help matters, and now the team has to hope for a good rotation to
quickly form to generate more production. Offensively, the offensive
line should be better, but it has to prove itself first.
Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Quarterback
Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Secondary
- Northern Illinois
The ranking is too low because ... the offense will be more
balanced and varied than last year when it was Garrett Wolfe, Garrett
Wolfe, Garrett Wolfe. There are good running backs to step in and shine,
while Dan Nicholson is a good enough passer to spread the ball around to
Britt Davis and a good receiving corps. The defense is extremely
athletic with the MAC's best pass rusher, Larry English, to lead the
The ranking is too high because ... the offensive line, the
staple of the better NIU teams over the years, will need time to jell.
It'll be one of the MAC's best lines in 2008, but it won't be all that
great to start the season. The defense needs a huge turnaround year from
the secondary that got roasted way too often. Yeah, the running backs
will be good, but you don't get better by losing Garrett Wolfe.
Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Wide Receiver
Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Secondary
- Bowling Green Preview
The ranking is too low because ... the running game should be
terrific with mobile quarterbacks and a nice group of running backs
working behind Kory Lichtensteiger and a strong line. The defense is
full of quick, athletic players who make plays all over the field. The
front seven should make plenty of stops behind the line and the
secondary should be among the best in the MAC as the season goes on.
The ranking is too high because ... the defense might be quick,
but it's small and should be pushed around by the better running teams.
The offense doesn't have much in the way of passing ability and should
be one-dimensional too much of the time, even though there will be an
emphasis on getting more of a balance. There aren't any obvious deep
threats who'll stretch the field.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Secondary
Weaknesses: Linebacker, Special Teams
Toledo Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... the offensive line should
be good enough to be a major factor against most MAC teams, and that
should allow a good stable of running backs to shine. QB Aaron Opelt
appears to be ready to make a major jump up in production, going
from a promising, athletic rookie to a consistent, dangerous threat.
The receiving corps might have been disappointing over the last few
years, but it's very big, very fast, and very promising.
The ranking is too high because ... the defense got ripped
apart by just about everyone last year, and while there's plenty of
depth, there has to be more pressure and more production. The
corners have to be night-and-day better for the Rockets to have any
hope of challenging for the MAC title, much less getting through a
tough early part of the schedule.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Special Teams
Defensive Line, Cornerback
Marshall Preview |
The ranking is too low because ... things finally appear to
be turning back around in the Mark Snyder era. The offense her
talent at running back to work around, while QB Bernard Morris is
experienced enough to be more consistent. Albert McClellan is one of
the nation's premier pass rushers and a disruptive force who should
be able to make everyone around him shine.
The ranking is too high because ... the defensive back seven
is merely average and could have problems holding up considering the
pressure put on them. Defensive coordinator Steve Dunlap will bring
the house to generate more pressure and be aggressive, and the
corners might suffer in a big way. Morris might be a veteran passer,
but he has to prove he can produce.
Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line
Weaknesses: Special Teams, Secondary