2008 Pre-Preseason Rankings - No. 76 to 100
Troy LB Boris Lee
Troy LB Boris Lee
Posted Jan 17, 2008

The very, very early look at the teams going into the off-season - No. 76 to 100

CFN 2008 Pre-Preseason Rankings

No. 76 to 100

- 2008 Top 25 | No. 26 to 50 | No. 51 to 75 | No. 101 to 119
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings

76. Southern Miss  2007 Record: 7-6
Going to bowl games and having winning records wasn't enough, so Jeff Bower is gone and Larry Fedora is in. Finding a steady starting quarterback will be the first order of business, but having Damion Fletcher to hand off to will certainly help. The interior of the offensive line has to be replaced as does the entire D line and good defensive backs Brandon Sumrall and LeVance Richmond.

77. New Mexico  2007 Record: 9-4   
Losing receivers Marcus Smith and Travis Brown will be a hit, but QB Donovan Porterie still has Rodney Ferguson to hand off to. Will there be any room to run with four starters gone off the O line? The secondary will have to shine early with mega-losses on the front seven including all-star end Tyler Donaldson.

78. Bowling Green  2007 Record: 8-5  
If the team can get off the mat after the GMAC Bowl embarrassment to Tulsa, it should be strong with QB Tyler Sheehan running a loaded offense with all the skill players returning along with all the depth. The issue early on could be on the line losing C Kory Lichtensteiger and tackles Drew Nystrom and Kevin Huelsman. Nine starters are back on defense including the entire secondary.

79. Marshall   2007 Record: 3-9
The Herd should come up with a big turnaround in a make-or-break season for coach Mark Snyder. Step one in the improvement is getting back superstar DE Albert McClellan from a knee injury to lead a veteran D that stunk throughout 2007. Brian Anderson will get the first look at quarterback, and he'll have plenty of help with the top skill players back including TE Cody Slate. Losing C Doug Legursky off the line is huge.

80. Hawaii   2007 Record: 12-1 
This might not be pretty. Hawaii will still wing the ball around with veteran backup Tyler Graunke ready to step in for Colt Brennan, but losing all four starting receivers and head coach June Jones will mean a major freefall from the success of the last two years. The defense has to replace seven starters.

81. Florida Atlantic  2007 Record: 8-5
Led by QB Rusty Smith, the defending Sun Belt champions should have one of the league's best attacks. Ten starters return on offense, while the defense should be fantastic up front with six of the front seven back. The secondary might be a little bit of an issue losing safeties Kris Bartels and Taheem Aceveda, but Tavious Polo and Corey Small form the league's best corner pair.

82. San Jose State  2007 Record: 5-7 
Dick Tomey should have the defense rocking and rolling with just about everyone coming back outside of top tackler Matt Castelo and top pickoff man Dwight Lowery. The offense loses QB Adam Tafralis, but the running game should be better. Four starters return from a very, very young offensive line.

83. Troy  2007 Record: 8-4
Step one is replacing two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year Omar Haugabook with Tanner Jones and Jamie Hampton fighting it out for the starting quarterback gig. Step two is replacing three of the starters on the defensive line while hoping someone can step up for star corner and return man Leodis McKelvin and running mate Elbert Mack. LB Boris Lee will be the early favorite for Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.

84. Navy
  2007 Record: 8-5
New head man Ken
Niumatalolo isn't going to change the formula, but he'll need some new playmakers to emerge in the backfield with the loss of RBs Reggie Campbell, Zerbin Singleton and bruiser Adam Ballard. QBs Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jarod Bryant are back, and they'll have to be even sharper with four starters gone off the line. The defense should be better, especially in the secondary.

85. Western Michigan  2007 Record: 5-7  
The team showed tremendous potential over the second half of last year including a win at Iowa. Now the expectations will be raised with almost all the top skill players back including QB Tim Hiller and WR Jamarko Simmons. The problem is on the line with both tackle and center Robbie Krutilla gone. The defense was a disappointment, but it'll be experienced with 11 returning starters, all seniors.

86. Wyoming  2007 Record: 5-7
After last year's mega-disappointment, there's hope for a quick turnaround with the entire offensive line returning along with QB Karsten Sween and RBs Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon. The defense has to replace the starting corners and LBs Sean Claffey and John Prater, but the entire line is back.

87. Syracuse   2007 Record: 2-10
Head coach Greg Robinson is still around, and he has a team full of veteran. Now the production has to match the experience with QB Andrew Robinson needing to step up and make everyone around him better. Losing WR Taj Smith early to the NFL doesn't help, but Mike Williams is back. The big key is the play of the lines getting three starters back on offense and three on defense. The biggest hole is at safety with the graduation of SS Dowayne Davis and FS Joe Fields.

88. Miami University  2007 Record: 6-7
The defending East champion should be even better if QB Daniel Raudabaugh can take the offense by the horns. The receivers are in place and they'll need to be fantastic with the running game sure to be an issue early on. Nine starters return on defense including Clayton Mullins, Joey Hudson and Caleb Bostic forming the MAC's best linebacking corps.

89. Colorado State  2007 Record: 3-9  
New head coach Steve Fairchild is fired up to try to restore the glory at CSU, but he'll have some work to do needing to replace his top receivers and QB Caleb Hanie. The running game should be fine with Gartrell Johnson, Kyle Bell and Michael Myers working behind a veteran line. The D loses six starters with the biggest hit coming on the D line losing Blake Smith and Jesse Nading.

90. Nevada   2007 Record: 6-7
Last year might not have been the season the Wolf Pack might have likes, but the nucleus is there to be among the nation's most explosive offenses with Colin Kaepernick and Nick Graziano back to battle at quarterback, and Luke Lippincott running the ball. The secondary will be an issue early on, and the loss of tackling machine LB Ezra Butler will be a problem.

91. Toledo  2007 Record: 5-7
Last year, it was simple. Offense really, really good. Defense really, really bad. The three best offensive players, OT John Greco, RB Jalen Parmele, and TE Chris Hopkins, won't be easily replaced, and the quarterback situation has to be settled immediately with Aaron Opelt, Clint Cochran and D.J. Lenehan battling for the job. The defense will get all the attention, and if nothing else it'll be experienced with eight starters returning.

92. Duke  2007 Record: 1-11
Does new head man David Cutcliffe have anyone to work with? Yup. Duke can't replace a WR like Jomar Wright, but QB Thaddeus Lewis is a playmaker and RB Requan Boyette has potential. The defense loses FS Chris Davis. That's it. 19 players on the defensive two-deep are back, but the much-ballyhooed tackle tandem of Vince Oghobaase and Ayanga Okpokowuruk have to play up to the hype.

93. UTEP   2007 Record: 4-8
Last year's collapse (a yearly rite of passage around El Paso) could be a case of growing pains as QB Trevor Vittatoe started to grow into the job. Enough good players are gone off the offense, like RB Marcus Thomas and WRs Lorne Sam and Joe West, to be concerned, but the defense should be better even with the loss of star CB Quintin Demps.

94. UNLV   2007 Record: 2-10
You don't get better by losing linebackers Beau Bell and Bradley Niles, but the defense should be better. The offense went through some major growing pains, and living through the rough patches should pay off with just about everyone returning. The receiving corps will be among the best in Mountain West, but QB Travis Dixon has to do better at getting everyone the ball.

95. Baylor   2007 Record: 3-9
Art Briles will try to do the impossible and make Baylor football relevant, but he has a veteran group to hit the ground running with nine starters returning on offense and six back on D. Blake Szymanski has to show he can be the leader of the offense right away and a running back has to emerge to provide some semblance of a ground game that hasn't been there for a few years.

96. Temple   2007 Record: 4-8
After a major turnaround, and with head coach Al Golden still around, Temple is one of the MAC's hot teams. Fullback Josh Bundy is gone. That's it. All eleven starters are back on defense and ten return on an offense that had its moments. Getting QB Adam DiMichele back and healthy is a must, but Vaughn Charlton has the experience to push for the job.

97. Buffalo   2007 Record: 5-7
After a great stepping-stone season under Turner Gill, now Bulls might be the favorites in the MAC ten starters returning on offense, only losing C Jamey Richard, and with eight starters back on D. The offensive nucleus of QB Drew Willy, RB James Starks and WR Naaman Roosevelt is the best in the MAC outside of Central Michigan.

98. Northern Illinois   2007 Record: 2-10
New head man Jerry Kill should immediately turn around one of 2007's most banged up teams. The defense gets everyone back including star DE Larry English, while the offense can't help but be better with nine starters returning. If NIU is as good as Kill's Southern Illinois teams were at the lower level, this should be a MAC favorite.

99. Ohio  2007 Record: 6-6
You don't get better by losing RB Kalvin McRae. QB Theo Scott has to be steady and the right side of the offensive line needs work. The defense gets most of the top players back with seven starters returning, but the inside will be an issue with three of the top tackles gone. The corner tandem of Mark Parson and Julian Posey should be good.

100. San Diego State  2007 Record: 4-8 
Will this finally be the year the ship is turned around under Chuck Long? He won't have QB Kevin O'Connell to rely on anymore, but Brandon Sullivan and Atiyyah Henderson lead a good backfield. The biggest problem early on will be a line that loses four starters. The defense had a mix of of very young and very old last year, and now if the safeties and linemen Nick Osborn and Ornan Nwansi can be replaced, there should be more production.

- 2008 Top 25 | No. 26 to 50 | No. 51 to 75 | No. 101 to 119
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings