CFN 2008 Pre-Preseason Rankings
No. 26 to 50
Top 25 |
No. 51 to 75 |
No. 76 to 100 |
No. 101 to 119
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
26. Cincinnati 2007 Record: 10-3
Somewhat quietly, the Bearcats had a huge first year under Brian Kelly.
If QB Ben Mauk gets a sixth year of eligibility, which he's expected to
receive, the offense should once again be strong with a good receiving
corps returning. However, there are just enough holes to fill on the O
line to expect a slight step back overall, while the defense loses five
starters including safeties Haruki Nakamura and Anthony Williams. Mike Mickens might be the
Big East's best defensive back.
27. Connecticut 2007 Record: 9-4
The defense was amazing last year, and it should be again even with the
loss of LB Danny Lansanah, DT Dan Davis and CB Tyvon Branch. The offense
was wildly inconsistent, but at least it returns with a ton of
experience with only one starter, OG Donald Thomas, needing to be
replaced. The big key is the improvement of QB Tyler Lorenzen, but he
has Andre Dixon and Andre Brown to hand off to.
28. Utah 2007 Record: 9-4
One of the nation's hottest teams over the second half of last season,
it should come out roaring in 2008 with QB Brian Johnson and RB Darrell
Mack two of the best offensive weapons no one has seen. Some hits are
taken in the receiving corps, but the O line gets almost everyone back
and the defense should eventually be better even with the loss of SS
Steve Tate and LBs Joe Jiannoni and Malakai Mokofisi. PK/P Louie Sakoda
will be one of the best all-around kickers in America.
Virginia 2007 Record: 9-4
Can the Cavaliers win as many close games and can they get over the loss
to Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl? RB Mikell Simpson is a special talent
to build around, while QB Jameel Sewell is experienced. With Branden
Albert taking off early, the interior of the O line is gone. Even with
the loss of DE Chris Long, the defense has enough good pieces back to
expect a strong year led by LB Jon Copper.
30. Rutgers 2007 Record: 8-5
If the rest of the offense can pick up the slack for the early departure
of RB Ray Rice, this should be one of the favorites for the Big East
title. The O line loses tackles Pedro Sosa and Jeremy Zuttah, along with
OG Mike Fladell, but QB Mike Teel is back along with receivers Tiquan
Underwood and Kenny Britt. The defense should be fantastic even with the
departure of DT Eric Foster and SS Ron Girault. The graduation of PK
Jeremy Ito is tough.
31. South Florida 2007 Record: 9-4
A breakout season is now marred by the blowout loss to Oregon in the Sun
Bowl and the story of LB Ben Moffitt not doing any of his own
schoolwork. The return of QB Matt Grothe should help turn things back
around on the field, and he has a loaded offense to work with losing
just one starter, OT Walt Walker. The defense loses Moffitt, star CBs
Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams, and two D linemen, but DE George Selvie
is back along with five other starters.
32. Michigan State
2007 Record: 7-6
Expectations will be sky-high after a solid first year under Mark
Dantonio, but most of the stars are gone. RB Javon Ringer and QB Brian
Hoyer return, but WR Devin Thomas took off early along with a chunk of
the O line. TE Kellen Davis, RB Jahuu Caulcrick, and DE Jonal Saint-Dic
33. Texas A&M 2007 Record: 7-6
Mike Sherman inherits one of the nation's best running backfields with
QB Stephen McGee and RBs Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson back, but the
O line has to undergo a major overhaul. Can Lane slim down a bit like
Sherman wants him to? Six starters are gone off the defense, including
three linemen, but the secondary should be a strength.
34. Pitt 2007 Record: 5-7
The team was totally average and underachieved, but it's now one of the
hot programs going into the off-season thanks to the win over West
Virginia to screw up Mountaineer national title hopes. LeSean McCoy is
one of the nation's best young running backs, but he loses his main man
to run behind, top tackle Jeff Otah, early to the NFL. The quarterback
derby this spring between Pat Bostick and Kevan Smith will be worth
watching to run an attack with just about everyone coming back.
Big-hitting LB Scott McKillop leads a solid defense that needs to
replace the ends and CB Kennard Cox.
35. Arizona State 2007
The Sun Devil offense gets QB Rudy Carpenter back, along with RBs Keegan
Herring and Dimitri Nance, and most of the top receivers return. Now the
offensive line has to keep Carpenter from becoming a tackling dummy for
a second straight year, and that could be a problem with three starters
gone. The defense takes a big hit in the secondary, but the line should
36. Oklahoma State 2007 Record:
Will all the explosion and all the talent mean the team will finally be
consistent? Probably not, but the T. Boone Cowboys should still light up
the scoreboard with QB Zac Robinson orchestrating a great group of skill
players. WR Adarius Bowman and RB Dantrell Savage might be gone, but the
overall production will still be there. The defense has some huge holes
to fill up front, but six starters return to the back seven. P Matt
Fodge is a weapon.
37. UCLA 2007 Record: 6-7
The Rick Neuheisel 2008 Passion Bucket tour should get off to a rousing
start if he can get his quarterback situation under control. Can he
count on Pat Cowan or Ben Olson? Is a running back ready to step up? Who
will the number one receiving target be? Losing three starters off the
offensive line won't help, but the biggest problem will be in the
secondary losing Trey Brown, Chris Horton, Dennis Keyes and Rodney Van.
You don't get better by losing Bruce Davis and Kevin Brown off the
38. Iowa 2007 Record: 6-6
Will the ugly way 2007 ended be a jump-start to a bounce-back 2008? If
the team stays healthy, maybe, with QB Jake Christensen experienced now
and with his receiving corps, which was decimated last year, knowing
what it's doing. Finding a steady runner will be priority one to work
behind a veteran O line. Mitch King and Matt Kroul might be the Big
Ten's best tackle tandem.
39. Mississippi State 2007
The expectations are set higher now, and they should be. The defense
should be fantastic again if Titus Brown and Avery Hannibal can be
replaced on the ends. The offense, as always, is the issue, but QB
Wesley Carroll and RB Anthony Dixon are fantastic pieces to build
40. California 2007 Record:
The underachieving Bears of 2007 will take another step back without a
wide receiver or running back. QBs Kevin Riley and Nate Longshore should
wage an interesting battle for the starting job, while the defense needs
to replace a slew of key parts. The return of C Alex Mack is a huge
boost for what would've been a depleted line.
41. Colorado 2007 Record:
It's year three under Dan Hawkins; there aren't any excuses. Two key
offensive linemen, OT Tyler Polumbus and OG Edwin Harrison, along with
RB Hugh Charles, are gone, but that's it off the offense, while the
defense should be better with eight starters returning. However, the
three losses, LB Jordon Dizon, DE Alonzo Barrett and CB Terrence
Wheatley, are huge. As QB Cody Hawkins goes, so goes the Buffs.
42. Arkansas 2007 Record:
Bobby Petrino will need time to get the personnel in place to add more
of a passing element to the attack. Not having Darren McFadden or Felix
Jones around isn't a plus, but Michael Smith, even at just 5-7 and 174
pounds, should grow into the No. 1 role behind a decent offensive line
that has to replace the right side. The defense should be fine up front
with work to do in the secondary. The big overall question will be at
quarterback, where Casey Dick has to start doing more.
43. Miami 2007 Record: 5-7
Is Jacory Harris ready to roll right away? The superstar recruit, and
several other true freshmen from a loaded haul, might
be thrown to the wolves with Robert Marve the only returning quarterback
on scholarship thanks to Kirby Freeman bailing. As expected, DE Calais
Campbell and S Kenny Phillips bolted early, but there are enough good
pieces returning to hope for a stronger year from the D. The offense has
a strong backfield, but everything else has to undergo an overhaul.
Expect plenty of true freshmen from a great recruiting class to see
44. Oregon State 2007 Record:
The quarterback situation needs to be settled between either Lyle Moevao
or Sean Canfield right away, and a running back has to emerge, but a
strong offensive line should make things easier. The defense will be the
issue losing all the starters from the defensive front seven and SS
Daniel Drayton. The kicking game has to find a few players to take over
for Alexis Serna.
45. Notre Dame 2007 Record: 3-9
Was last year a mega-step back to take a giant leap forward? A slew of
true freshmen, including QB Jimmy Clausen, got their feet wet, and now
they have to shine. The offensive line has been miserable over the last
two years, and for good and bad, everyone is back. Losing TE John
Carlson, the offense's best player last year, isn't a plus, but ten
starters are back along with RBs Armando Allen and James Aldridge. The
defense was better than it got credit for, and now it needs a little
retooling with the loss of SS Tom Zbikowski, LB Joe Brockington and DE Trevor Laws.
On the plus side, CB Terrail Lambert LB Maurice Crum get a 5th year.
46. Fresno State 2007 Record:
This should finally, finally be the year Pat Hill's team is the class of
the WAC with Boise State likely to take a step back and Hawaii to take a
huge tumble. The Bulldogs are loaded on offense with QB Tom Brandstater
ready to take the next step up and grow into a NFL prospect.
47. Florida State 2007 Record: 7-6
Who's going to be welcomed back in the mix after the cheating fiasco?
With Xavier Lee giving up and trying to move on to the NFL, the offense
is all Drew Weatherford's to run. WR Greg Carr and RB Antone Smith are
two of the ACC's most talented skill players, while RB Preston Parker
should make more of an impact. The right side of the O line has to be
replaced and bombing PK Gary Cismesia is gone, along with DT Andre
Fluellen and LB Geno Hayes, but the defense gets back eight starters
including S Myron Rolle and LB Derek Nicholson.
48. Nebraska 2007 Record: 5-7
Bo Pelini's first task is to whip the defense into shape. The starting
linebacking corps is gone, along with starting DBs Cortney Grixby and
Tierre Green, but everyone else is back along with a ton of depth. The
offense wasn't a problem, outside of being inconsistent, and now it
should be interesting with QB Joe Ganz, RB Marlon Lucky, and three
starters on the O line providing hope.
49. Georgia Tech 2007 Record:
Paul Johnson finally has D-I talent to work with, but can he have the
same success he had at Navy? Massive departures on defense, especially
in the back seven, will be a problem, but the offense should be better
if Taylor Bennett can prove he can be a living, breathing passer. Jamaal
Evans and Jonathan Dwyer are good backs who should replace the lost
production of Tashard Choice. The graduation of PK Travis Bell and P
Durant Brooks is a killer.
Kentucky 2007 Record: 8-5
Can Rich Brooks keep the machine running without QB Andre Woodson, RB
Rafael Little, WR Keenan Burton and TE Jacob Tamme? On the plus side,
the defense only loses three starters and the offensive line gets three
starters back. While the frontline stars aren't there, the overall depth
Top 25 |
No. 51 to 75 |
No. 76 to 100 |
No. 101 to 119
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings