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2009 Preseason Rankings - No. 91 to 100
Marshall TE Cody Slate
Marshall TE Cody Slate
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 2, 2009


Preview 2009 CFN Preseason Rankings No. 91 to 100 ... The Rebuilding & Flawed

Preview 2009 - Preseason Rankings

Rebuilding or Flawed - No. 91 to 100


These are likely trying to turn things around or have a few major issues.

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 120.

CFN 2009 Preseason Rankings

- 2009 Preview
|
1 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
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61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120

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2008 Preseason Rankings | 2007 Preseason Rankings


91. Bowling Green

- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Secondary
What to watch for on offense: More running. The Bowling Green offense will have an interesting conflict of interests. The attack will revolve around QB Tyler Sheehan and the passing game, and will try to push the ball deeper, but the running game will be a bigger part of the equation. Chris Bullock is the power back while Willie Geter brings the speed, and they'll occasionally have a fullback to work behind. In a pinch, it'll be all Sheehan all the time, but in the flow of the normal attack, the plan will be to have a little more of a balance.
What to watch for on defense: The line. It's not all doom and gloom, but all four starters need to be replaced, hurt mostly by the loss of pass rushing terror Diyral Briggs. Beyond the starters, with the loss of tackle Michael Ream, who was booted for violating team rule, there's no depth whatsoever on the interior. Several true freshmen will get a chance to shine, and on the plus side, this is a relatively young line overall and it should grow into a positive for next year. But this could be the team's Achilles heel early on.


92. Ohio
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Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
What to watch for on offense: More passing. While there are several quick backs who can crank out yards in chunks and can hit the home run from anywhere on the field, there could be major problems on the line as the season goes on. The strength of the attack will be the passing game with quarterbacks Boo Jackson and Theo Scott each able to throw better than most of the recent Bobcat passers and a receiving tandem of Taylor Price and LaVon Brazill that's good enough to revolve the offense around. Ohio won't go into a full-blown spread mode, but it won't be far off.
What to watch for on defense: A search for a pass rusher. The back seven should be excellent, with good veterans and sound talent across the board. The defensive front is fine, and there's good size, but someone needs to be able to get into the backfield on a regular basis. There isn't a scary-good pass rusher who'll throw a scare into anyone, which means the linebacking corps might have to be more active and more daring when it comes to being disruptive.

93. Miami University
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Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Secondary
What to watch on offense: The quarterback situation ... again. Daniel Raudabaugh has had the pieces around him to produce, but it hasn't happened. He has the size, he has the tools, and he has the experience as the starter for the last two years, but he hasn't been able to crank out points or wins. While he looked great at times this spring and he should be better, that's been said for the last few years, too. Clay Belton has a big arm and Zac Dysert is a good prospect, and the new coaching staff won't be afraid to put either one in if the offense struggles.
What to watch on defense: The secondary. There weren't any interceptions, there were too many big plays allowed, and there wasn't any help from the pass rush. Jordan Gafford returns at one safety spot after missing almost all of last year, while safety Ben Bennett and corners Brandon Stephens and Jeff Thompson are veterans who should be better now that they have a year of starting experience. With problems in the front seven, this year, the defensive backfield has to shine.


94. Marshall
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Running Back, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Linebacker
What to watch for on offense: The battle at quarterback. Like it or not, it’s going to make headlines around Huntington until Mark Snyder names his starter in the summer. Maybe even beyond that point. While Mark Cann is the incumbent, he failed to close the door on the competition. Brian Anderson was lights out in his only audition of 2008, a three-touchdown, mistake-free game. Press Taylor and Jacob Laudenslayer weren’t brought in from junior college just to mimic the other team’s quarterback on the scout team.
What to watch for on defense: A more cohesive unit. Too often last year, the defense appeared lost, blowing coverages and allowing big plays. While those days aren’t completely over, they should be less common. It’s going to help having defensive coordinator Rick Minter in the system for a second year. He knows his personnel much better, and his system is no longer foreign to the players. It’ll also help having eight starters and a slew of letterwinners back on campus. If DE Albert McClellan can regain his pre-ACL injury form, he’s good enough to ignite and inspire the entire D.


95. Tulsa
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback competition. This is as plum a job as there is outside the major conferences. And why not? David Johnson accounted for 49 touchdowns in 2008, and he was a career backup with only modest appeal at the next level. Fill this opening, and the potential is there for an uncommon amount of attention for a Conference USA player. Jacob Bower, G.J. Kinne, and Shavodrick Beaver all have an interesting story and a burning desire to be under center when Tulsa travels to Tulane on Sept. 4.
What to watch for on defense: The pass rush up front. Although Tulsa only employs three defensive linemen and will blitz frequently, the secondary would benefit if it didn’t have to sell out so often. Not only did the line do a poor job of creating pressure, but its best edge guy, Moton Hopkins, has graduated and George Clinkscale is moving back to outside linebacker. The onus falls on Odrick Ray, Cory Dorris, and Un’Tavious Scott to collapse the pocket with a little less assistance than in the past.


96. Memphis
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Running Back
Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: QB Arkelon Hall. As long as the retooled line blocks, Hall is poised to have a breakthrough final season in Memphis. He’s a talented dual-threat, who’s surrounded by a bevy of exciting backs, receivers, and tight ends. Before injuring his thumb and losing his momentum last fall, he was just beginning to heat up as a passer. Now that he’s healthy and better acclimated to his surroundings, he could be one of Conference USA’s biggest surprises of 2009.
What to watch for on defense: The pass rush. Actually, you might need the Hubble telescope to get a glimpse of this feeble Tiger pass rush. Top sacker Clinton McDonald is gone from a unit that got to the quarterback just 23 times in 2008, and had almost no production from the edge. Memphis doesn’t have the cover guys in the secondary to blitz too often, so it’ll be up to the linemen to get a push on their own. Recent JUCO transfers Justin Thompson and Demetrius Culpepper, in particular, are being counted on to provide a spark for this group.


97. Buffalo
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Running Back, Wide Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Linebacker
What to watch for on offense: Mobility at quarterback. Drew Willy might have been a fantastic leader and a great passer, but he wasn't a runner. Zach Maynard is an excellent dual-threat quarterback, while backup Jerry Davis can move, too. The rushing attack that was so reliant on James Starks last year, and Brandon Thermilus early on, will get a big boost and should finish with well over 2,000 yards as a team (after netting 1,858 last year).
What to watch for on defense: The redshirt freshmen defensive ends. The Bull back seven is loaded with experience and proven producers, but the line has to be better. Far better. It'll all start with more of a pass rush from a few new ends that will upgrade the athleticism of the defensive front. Jaleel Verser, Steven Means, and Willie Moseley are all very quick and very promising. They need to camp out in the backfield, or the defense won't see any major improvement.


98. Akron  
- Preview | Offense | Defense
| Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Offensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Secondary
What to watch for on offense: The line. This was one of the MAC's best lines last year, if not the best, and even though it lost veteran all-star Chris Kemme at left tackle, it should be even better with four of the starters who played in every game last year returning, talented junior Corey Woods moving from the right side into Kemme's spot, and rising sophomore Jake Anderson about to become great at right tackle. The skill players will get all the time they need.
What to watch for on defense: The playing around with the alignment. Technically in thee 3-3-5, the Bandit serves as a third linebacker, but the Rover, the fifth defensive back, also handles many of the same roles. These are the two playmaking positions in the defense, with Mike Thomas, the team's second-leading tackler, handling the Bandit and either Troy Gilmer or Shawn Lemon at the Rover. More often than not, Akron has a sort of 3-5-3 alignment that's supposed to take advantage of the D's speed and athleticism, but it didn't happen last year. The coaching staff won't allow for another disaster.


99. Hawaii
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart


Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Special Teams
What to watch for on offense: An upgrade in the numbers. Greg Alexander still has to solidify himself as the starter, there’s lip-service being paid to an open quarterback derby, but he’ll be the man. With the receiving corps looking stronger than last year when it was green and still trying to find playmakers, Alexander should be able to make a big leap up in production. He started to shine as last year went on and now he knows what he’s doing.
What to watch for on defense: The linebackers. The secondary is undergoing a wholesale change and the defensive line needs time to rebuild and reload, but the linebacking corps should be fine. How is that possible after losing WAC Defensive Player of the Year-caliber playmakers like Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard? Brashton Satele is a nice piece of the puzzle in the middle, while R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane has the potential to be special on the weakside. Blaze Soares returns from an injury and could be an all-star on the strongside.


100. San Diego State
- Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Defensive Line
What to watch for on offense:
More darkness before the dawn. The simple fact of the matter is that the talent isn't there. The line should be the strength with good veterans who do a decent job in pass protection, but the running backs are mediocre, there isn't a No. 2 receiver to help out Vincent Brown, and QB Ryan Lindley appears destined for one more erratic season before the light goes on. The attack isn't going to be worse than last year, there will be a running game, but it's not going to be the Ball State attack of last year quite yet.
What to watch for on defense: A very, very interesting season from the front three. The Aztec defensive front has done nothing against the run for the last few years and has struggled mightily to get into the backfield. Defensive Coordinator Rocky Long's 3-3-5 alignment should help the cause with more fresh linemen and more attacking from different angles. B.J. Williams is the team's best pass rusher while Jonathan Soto is a far better fit as a three-man front end than one in a 4-3. Ernie Lawson is a nice piece to the puzzle in the middle, as long as he can stay healthy. This is the area that appears to have taken to the new coaching staff faster than any other, and it should show early on.

CFN 2009 Preseason Rankings
- 2009 Preview
|
1 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
-
61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120

-
2008 Preseason Rankings | 2007 Preseason Rankings