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2009 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings ... STs
TCU WR Jimmy Young
TCU WR Jimmy Young
Posted Aug 12, 2009

CFN 2009 Preview Unit Rankings - Special Teams Ranked 1 to 120

Preview 2009 ... Unit Rankings

Special Teams

- CFN Preview 2009
- CFN's Top 200 Players of 2009

CFN 2009 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. TCU
There was supposed to be a drop-off after needing to replace several great players, but the special teams turned out to be better. TCU has always had terrific special teams under Gary Patterson, and this year won’t be any different. Ross Evans is a fantastic placekicker while Jeremy Kerley is a special punt returner.

2. Florida
Jonathan Phillips nailed 12-of-13 field goals, Chas Henry averaged 43.4 yards per punt, Brandon James averaged 13.8 yards per punt return and 23.1 yards per kickoff return, and the punt coverage team allowed 5.6 yards per try. Everyone's back, meaning it'll be a stunner if the Gators don't have the SEC's best special teams.

3. Miami
Thanks in large part to the leg of Matt Bosher, Miami has the best special teams in the ACC. If returner Travis Benjamin begins to fulfill all of his potential, the ‘Canes will have a huge advantage and should win at least two games by being special on special teams.

4. Arizona State
With PK Thomas Weber and PR Kyle Williams as the foundation, Arizona State will continue to have one of the Pac-10’s more complete special teams units. The primary objectives of special teams coach Jamie Christian will be to solidify the situation at punter and settle on the right man to be the kickoff returner.

5. Boise State
The special teams could be the best in America. PK/P Kyle Brotzman is a weapon who'll be a difference maker in at least one tight game, if Boise State plays any close ones, while Jeremy Avery and Kyle Wilson are terrific returners.

6. New Mexico
The return game was the best in the Mountain West while the coverage teams were terrific. PK James Aho was a find, and while he can't be expected to be amazing two years in a row, he'll be solid. All that's missing is more pop to a punting game that netted just 33 yards a shot. Basically, it's up to special teams coach Toby Neinas to not rock the boat.

7. Texas
Somewhat quietly, Texas has been among the best in the nation in special teams over the last few seasons. Everything works, and with most of the key components back, it'll be a shock if this isn't one of the team's strengths. The kicking game is solid, the coverage teams are great, and the return game is more than just serviceable.

With PK Kai Forbath and returner Terrence Austin leading the way, UCLA will once again have among the Pac-10’s best special teams units. P Jeff Locke has a high ceiling, which should include all-star recognition before getting too deep into his career.

9. Fresno State
If the coverage teams can be just a little bit better, the special teams will be among the best in the WAC. Everyone is back after a breakthrough year, and there's no reason to think there will be a step back. A.J. Jefferson is one of the nation's best kickoff returners, while punter Robert Malone has a huge leg.

10. Troy
The Sun Belt's best special teams of 2007 were starting from scratch last year, and they became the league's best in 2008 leading the conference in punting, kickoff returns, and yards allowed. They were also third in punt returns. Everyone is back, so expect more of the same. Troy will win at least two games because it'll be better, far better, than almost everyone on its schedule.

11 Oklahoma State
12 Penn State
13 Alabama
14 Iowa
15 Arizona
16 Auburn
17 Wisconsin
18 Cincinnati
19 Maryland 
20 Iowa State
21 Central Michigan
22 USC
23 Ohio State
24 LSU
25 Georgia
26 California
27 Ole Miss
28 Virginia Tech
29 Florida State
30 Pitt
31 Oregon State
32 North Carolina
33 NC State
34 Rutgers 
35 Baylor
36 Kansas State
37 Oklahoma
38 Oregon
39 Notre Dame
40 Clemson
41 South Florida
42 Michigan State
43 Tennessee
44 BYU
45 Michigan
46 Connecticut
47 East Carolina
48 Kentucky
49 Stanford
50 Purdue
51 Duke
52 Texas A&M
53 Air Force
54 Arkansas State
55 Indiana 
56 Buffalo
57 Utah State
58 Idaho
59 Missouri
60 Kansas
61 Nebraska
62 South Carolina
63 Arkansas
64 Wake Forest
65 Minnesota
67 San Jose State
68 Louisiana Tech
69 Navy
70 Western Michigan
71 Ohio  
72 Miami Univ.
73 Akron
74 San Diego State
75 Temple
76 Western Kentucky
77 West Virginia
78 Georgia Tech
79 Colorado  
80 Utah  
81 Virginia  
82 Northwestern
83 Vanderbilt
84 Mississippi State
85 Houston
86 Wyoming
87 Northern Illinois
88 Syracuse
89 Ball State
90 Bowling Green
91 Eastern Michigan
92 FIU
93 UL Lafayette
94 Army
95 New Mexico State
96 Illinois
97 Colorado State
98 Washington State
99 Toledo
100 Marshall
101 Middle Tennessee
102 Texas Tech
103 Boston College
104 Washington  
105 Louisville 
106 Tulsa
107 UCF
108 Tulane
109 SMU
110 Memphis
111 Kent State
112 Florida Atlantic
113 UTEP
114 Rice
115 UL Monroe
116 UAB
117 Nevada
118 Hawaii
119 North Texas
120 Southern Miss