2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings ... No. 31 to 45
Pitt RB Dion Lewis
Pitt RB Dion Lewis
Posted Feb 9, 2010

The very, very early look at the teams before spring ball kicks in - No. 31 to 45

2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings

Teams Ranked No. 31 to 45

CFN 2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings 
No. 1 to 15 | No. 16 to 30 | No. 31 to 45 | No. 46 to 60 
No. 61 to 75 | No. 76 to 90 | No. 91 to 105 | No. 106 to 120

Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind.
MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

- 2009 CFN Final Rankings
- 2009 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2008 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2010 CFN Recruiting Rankings  

45. Oklahoma State
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 34
Oklahoma State is in a weird place (no, not Stillwater). This is a good team with a ton of athletes, but 2009 wasn’t the big year expected and now there’s work to do losing Russell Okung and four starters on the offensive line, QB Zac Robinson, and RB Keith Toston. The defense has to replace three starters up front, the entire starting linebacking corps, and three starters in the secondary. That doesn’t mean the team is going to go into the tank, but after starting out 4-0 against Washington State, Troy, Tulsa, and at Louisiana, the Big 12 slate could get rough at times having to face Nebraska from the North to go along with road trips to Kansas and Kansas State.

44. Michigan
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 82
This might work if Rich Rodriguez got more time and there wasn’t so much pressure, but it’s win now or else. His top offensive players are young and he has good recruiting classes to work with, but it all has to translate into wins. The offense should only get more productive with more experience, but the Wolverines aren’t going anywhere unless the defense makes a night-and-day improvement. There’s one slight problem: the schedule. There are eight bowl teams on the slate including three in the first four weeks. Rebuilding time is over.

43. Boston College
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 48
Boston College could be tuning up in 2010 for a third Atlantic Division title in the last four years, especially if LB Mark Herzlich makes it back on the field. Last season was a bit of a transition period, meaning next year will feature far more stability. There’ll be no fewer than eight returning starters on both sides of the ball, which bodes very well for the program.

42. UCLA
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 59
As Rick Neuheisel enters the third year of his rebuilding project in Westwood, it’s time for the offense to start carrying its weight. That’ll be particularly important in 2010 as the Bruins part ways with many of their best defensive stoppers. A lot will depend on the development of QB Kevin Prince in his second year as the starter. He’ll be helped by the returns of many of his skill position players and top blocker Xavier Su'a-Filo.

41. South Carolina
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 52
The expectations aren’t going to be that high for the perennial underachiever, but this should be a dangerous team that just got a whole bunch better with the addition of Marcus Lattimore, one of the nation’s top running back prospects. QB Stephen Garcia leads an offense that returns nine starters, while the defense gets back eight starters and should be better despite losing LB Eric Norwood. The schedule doesn’t get many breaks facing Alabama and going to Auburn in two of the games against the West, while the Florida and Clemson games are on the road. Georgia and Tennessee have to come to Columbia.

40. Washington
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 63
Washington felt good about 2010 before QB Jake Locker announced his intentions for his senior year. Now that he’s decided to hold off on the NFL Draft, the Huskies are downright giddy. With the returns of so many skill position players to complement the quarterback, the offense has the parts to be terrific in Steve Sarkisian’s second year. Anything less than a return to the postseason will be viewed as a major disappointment in Seattle.

39. Texas A&M
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 69
The Aggies will be entertaining again, if nothing else. The fun-bad team of 2009 will put up a ton of yards and a bazillion points against the average defenses with QB Jerrod Johnson about to break out into national stardom and a tremendous group of playmakers around him. The offensive line needs work, but the attack will still be among the nation’s best. The defense won’t stop anyone again, but it’s experienced and it should be camped out in opposing backfields again with Von Miller leading the way. Expect a lot of 45-40 shootouts.

38. California
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 43
While it’s not as if Cal hasn’t seen far worse days, there’s this nagging feeling that it has to elevate higher than its current station…and soon. While the overall depth in the Pac-10 continues to improve, the Bears are stuck in neutral, unable to accelerate past middling December bowl games. Even if Best opts for the NFL, the running game will be in the capable hands of Shane Vereen. And even without any glaring weaknesses expected, the program has a lot to prove before it’ll get the benefit of the doubt in 2010.

37. Connecticut
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 36
After three consecutive winning seasons and bowl games, Randy Edsall has positioned the Huskies to keep those trends going and avoid prolonged rebuilding periods. RB Jordan Todman returns, as does QB Zach Frazer, who started looking comfortable in the system as the season wound down. Even without leading pass rusher Lindsey Witten, the front seven ought to be fantastic, especially with the return of linebackers Lawrence Wilson, Greg Lloyd, and Scott Lutrus.

36. Rutgers
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 32
If Cincinnati suffers a setback from the departure of Brian Kelly, the Big East will once again be up for grabs. The Scarlet Knights hope to be in a position to take advantage. The offense is in good hands with QB Tom Savage, who should be even better in his second year. Greg Schiano’s priority will be retooling a defense that’s losing five key regulars to graduation.

35. Cincinnati
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 6
Now what? Brian Kelly was the architect of Cincinnati’s recent ascent, but now that he’s in South Bend, it’s a lot to ask for the program to continue to keep up the success at the same rate. Replacing him will be Butch Jones, who like Kelly also succeeded him at Central Michigan. His challenging goal of keeping the program on the rails and in the national conscience will be aided by the half-year of experience QB Zach Collaros received last fall.

34. Tennessee
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 39
Derek Dooley has work to do. This was going to be a bit of a rocky season anyway with more work to be done to beef up the depth and come up with the playmakers to compete for the East title, but this is still a good enough team to push for a New Year’s Day bowl. The offensive line needs help, Nick Stephens has to prove he can step in at quarterback for Jonathan Crompton, and Bryce Brown has to live up to his prep hype to carry the ground game. The defense gets back seven starters but loses SS Eric Berry and LB Rico McCoy. The schedule is a bear, but most of the big games are at home getting Oregon, Florida, Alabama, and Ole Miss in Knoxville. However, the Vols have to go to LSU and Georgia in back to back weeks. How’s this for a six game stretch? Oregon, Florida, UAB (exhale), at LSU, at Georiga. Alabama. Welcome to the gig, Derek.

33. Oregon State
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 37
The Beavers will be chock full of returning starters, including the Rodgers brothers, James and Quizz, so a regression is not expected in 2010. The most watched competition of the offseason will be at quarterback where Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao are outgoing seniors. Although Ryan Katz is the frontrunner, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Peter Lalich, a transfer from Virginia.

32. Stanford
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 38
Assuming he heads to the NFL, life after Toby Gerhart will not be easy. Lessening the blow will be the return of Andrew Luck for his second season as the starting quarterback. He’s only scratched the surface of his potential, and has talented receivers Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu back at his disposal. As well as Jim Harbaugh has been recruiting the country, there’s no reason to believe Stanford can’t turn bowl invitations and Pac-10 contention into annual occurrences.

31. Pitt
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 14
Like every program, there’ll be holes that need to be filled, but as long as Dave Wannstedt keeps recruiting well and Dion Lewis keeps running, Pitt is in good shape. Both lines used plenty of seniors, so they’ll get extra attention when the team reconvenes in the spring. Most of the headlines at that time will focus on the replacement for QB Bill Stull, who exceeded all expectations as a senior. Tino Sunseri has the early edge, but he could get challenged by veteran Pat Bostick.

CFN 2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings 
No. 1 to 15 | No. 16 to 30 | No. 31 to 45 | No. 46 to 60 
No. 61 to 75 | No. 76 to 90 | No. 91 to 105 | No. 106 to 120

Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind.
MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC