Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

2008 Preseason Rankings - No. 110 to 119
SMU QB Justin Willis
SMU QB Justin Willis
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 6, 2008


How do the teams rank from top to bottom going into the season? Here we go with the CFN Preseason Rankings from one to 119, starting out with The Bottom Ten including SMU star quarterback Justin Willis and his new-look Mustangs.

Preview 2008 Preseason Rankings

The Bottom Ten - No. 110 to No. 119

These teams will have a hard time against just about everyone

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 2008 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 | 90 to 99 | 100 to 109 | 110 to 119

110. Temple  
- 2008 Temple Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: An attempt to do anything and everything to get more out of the running game. The MAC's worst rushing offense lost its leading rusher Jason Harper, but not to graduation or injury. The junior moved over to wide receiver to add more pop to the passing game. On the flip side, WR sophomore Marquise Liverpool is moving to running back to combine with Joe Jones and Jared Williams to add some more pop.
What to watch for on defense: More from the linebackers. All 11 starters return to a defense that should be excellent in the secondary, a rock in the middle with tackles Andre Neblett and Terrance Knighton among the best in the MAC, and good promise on the ends. Amara Kamara is a rising star on the outside while junior Alex Joseph should go from special teams star to the leader in the middle. The improvement of this group should take the defense from decent to special.

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Defensive Line   
Relative Weaknesses:
Offensive Line, Wide Receiver

111. UAB   
- 2008 UAB Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: Topping head coach Neil Callaway’s list of offensive priorities is to improve a running game that was last in the league a year ago.  The coach is keeping his fingers crossed that Aaron Johns, a gifted former Alabama running back, can qualify academically after missing the mark last season. Joseph Webb offers some interesting options, both as a strong-armed passer and a scrambler on designed running plays. 
What to watch for on defense: Underclassmen were everywhere last year, which should start to pay dividends this season. The Blazers got shoved around by every opponent not named Alcorn State, prompting Callaway to demand more physicality in the front seven. UAB does return its best player, all-league S Will Dunbar, who could have left for the NFL. A sure-tackling playmaker that paced the team with 122 stops, he’s the leader of a vulnerable secondary.

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Secondary   
Relative Weaknesses:
Running Back, Defensive Line

112. SMU  
- 2008 SMU Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: An 80-20 run-pass mix. No, the personnel doesn’t yet fit what June Jones wants to do in Dallas, but that won’t stop him from going up top with the same frequency he did at Hawaii. The Mustangs have spent the past six months trying to digest a completely new playbook and language. While there were strides in April, and more to come in August, growing pains will be inevitable when the season kicks off with a trip to Rice.
What to watch for on defense
: Speed off the edge. Lacking the size and strength up front to move blockers off the line, new coordinator Tom Mason plans to use the Mustangs’ speed to disrupt opponents. If SMU has any chance to improve on last year’s dismal results, it’ll be up to sophomore ends Youri Yenga, Anthony Sowe, and Jordan Johnson to blow past tackles and create havoc before plays have a chance to develop.

Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Quarterback 
Relative Weaknesses:
Offensive Line, Defensive Line


113.
North Texas   
- 2008 North Texas Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense … Riley Dodge. The new one. It's not like Giovanni Vizza can't play. He took his lumps last season, but he had a few phenomenal moments to suggest that he's not just going to hand the offense over. But Dodge is it. He's the one who was literally born into this offense and knows it backwards and forwards. While he might not be that big, he's the ultimate triggerman for his father's attack, and he plans on playing from day one.
What to watch for on defense … the transfers. S Greg Garden sat out last year and was listed as a backup at strong safety coming out of spring ball, but he's too talented to sit for long. The corners are a plus, Antoine Bush is a good one, but there will be some serious competition from Justin Adams and Adryan Edwards from the JUCO ranks for time. The secondary was going to be the strength of the defense anyway, and now it'll be far better.

Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Quarterback 
Relative Weaknesses:
Defensive Line, Linebacker

114. Middle Tennessee   
- 2008 Middle Tennessee Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: The line. With Franklin Dunbar leaving early for the NFL and Mark Fisher and Jamal Lewis both hurt, three key starters from last year are gone. Junior OT Mark Thompson is fine, but he's not a superstar to revolve an entire line around. That's what MT will have to do as three redshirt freshmen and an untested sophomore will likely fill out the rest of the front five.
What to watch for on defense: A better linebacking corps. Last year the line took care of everything and the linebackers were mostly along for the ride. Now the veterans like Danny Carmichael and Lonnie Clemons lead a promising group that should be able to do more. At the very least they'll be in on more tackles.

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Secondary
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line

115. Eastern Michigan   
- 2008 Eastern Michigan Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: More from the passing game. A lot more. The running game, primarily because of the mobility of the quarterbacks, dominated throughout last year, but with a good looking receiving corps, led by DeAnthony White an Tyler Jones, and the improvement of Andy Schmitt as a passer, the offense won't be one dimensional.
What to watch for on defense: Problems in the front seven. LB Daniel Hotlzclaw is a given and tackle John Hunt is fantastic, but the ends are a question mark and the linebackers around the main man in the middle aren't anything special. The D will have to manufacture pressure and big plays from several unlikely sources.

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Back  
Relative Weaknesses:
Defensive Line, Wide Receiver

116. UL Lafayette  
- 2008 Louisiana-Lafayette Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: More passing. It's not like Texas Tech will take over, but the coaching staff placed more of an emphasis on getting things moving through the air this off-season. The running game will still be the main mode of transportation with a tandem of Tyrell Fenroy and Deon Wallace to work with, but look for Michael Desormeaux to try putting it up on a regular basis.
What to watch for on defense: The linebackers. The trio of Antwyne Zanders, Brenton Burkhalter and Grant Fleming should be the best in the Sun Belt and among the most dominant in team history. The run defense was abysmal last season with the linebackers making way too many plays down the field, but now they'll do far more attacking as they try to force more mistakes and get to the ball quicker.

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker  
Relative Weaknesses:
Defensive Line, Defensive Backs

117. Florida International  
- 2008 FIU Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. This was an issue last year, and while Wayne Younger might be the more dynamic player with the bigger upside, the offense didn't start to move until Paul McCall took over. Younger's collarbone injury allowed McCall to step in, and now there will be a battle to run new offensive coordinator Bill Legg's new spread offense.
What to watch for on defense: More of an attitude. Last year's defense spent the year trying to figure out what it was doing. This year's group is seasoned, salty, and ready to make more big plays. It showed as spring ball went on as the D started to make more big plays and start to be more aggressive. Now there should be more of a pass rush and more attacking.

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Defensive Line   
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Quarterback

118. Utah State   
- 2008 Utah State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: A better running game. That was supposed to happen last year, too, and the Aggies ended up averaging a meager 124 yards per game on the ground. Offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey, who guided North Texas to some mega-rushing years led by backs Patrick Cobbs and Jamario Thomas, and while he's not going to get that kind of production, the Aggie backs know what they're doing and should be able to produce more behind a veteran line.
What to watch for on defense: The tackles. With top end Ben Calderwood moving to the inside to join veteran Alan Bishop, and with the addition of JUCO transfers Casey Davis and Magnmu Mauga, the Aggies are making a commitment to be better inside against the run. It's not like the WAC is full of pounding running teams, but the USU defensive front got ripped apart by anyone who tried to run. That should change with the improvements made.

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker   
Relative Weaknesses:
Offensive Line, Wide Receiver

119. Army 
- 2008 Army Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: The new offense. Will the coaching staff be able to stay with Williams if it wants to run the option, or will it make the switch to Chip Bowden, a bit more of a runner, or will it take its lumps with plebe Paul McIntosh, the team's top recruit. Indiana's Mr. Football is the running quarterback the offense needs.
What to watch for on defense: The middle of the defensive front. With Frank Scappaticci making the successful transition from outside linebacker to the middle, and with tackles Ted Bentler and Mike Gann a strong tandem on the inside, the heart of the Army defense should be decent. However, there depth at tackle falls off the map with 224-pound David Kava and 262-pound Mark Faldowski good role players, but hardly starters

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Offensive Line   
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Secondary

CFN 2008 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 | 90 to 99 | 100 to 109 | 110 to 119