2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings ... C-USA
Tulsa WR Damaris Johnson
Tulsa WR Damaris Johnson
Posted Feb 11, 2010

The very, very early look at the teams before spring ball kicks in - Conference USA

2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings

Conference USA Teams

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  

26. Houston
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 18
New year. Similar results. Case Keenum is expected back for one final season, as are most of his favorite weapons at wide receiver and running back. The Cougar offense will be every bit as incendiary as in recent seasons, but the development of the defense holds the key to just how far this team can go in 2010. If it continues to give up chunks of yards on the ground, Houston will be vulnerable in games it’s supposed to win.

68. Tulsa
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 84
QB G.J. Kinne and WR Damaris Johnson are excellent starting points for an offense that’ll rebound if the offensive line can be fixed. All but one regular up front returns, but after yielding 46 sacks, that’s hardly cause for optimism. Todd Graham has recruited well and developed a culture of success in Tulsa, so the Hurricane doesn’t figure to be down for very long.

74. East Carolina
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 29
These last two championship teams were veteran-laden, which means there’ll be plenty of openings on the depth chart in 2010. Fortunately, Skip Holtz has positioned the program to handle mass graduations without having to rebuild or go into a freefall. Still, East Carolina’s crown will be up for grabs, especially with so much uncertainty behind center. Out goes sixth-year senior Patrick Pinkney, and in come Josh Jordan and Rio Johnson, who have seven passing attempts between them.

77. Marshall
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 57
Replacing head coach Mark Snyder will be John “Doc” Holliday, a native of the state and most recently an assistant at West Virginia. He’s renowned as a recruiter, but how will he fare as a head coach? His first team will lean heavily on RB Darius Marshall, Martin Ward, and a running game that has the ingredients to be among the best in Conference USA. The ground attack will be supported by a veteran line. However, QB Brian Anderson is a mediocre player who needs to be far, far better for the Herd to improve. 

79. Southern Miss
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 58
With Austin Davis back behind center, DeAndre Brown at receiver, and Tracey Lampley taking over in the backfield, the Southern Miss offense will be exciting if the JUCO-infused line performs. Head coach Larry Fedora, however, needs to plug the holes on a defense that’ll have no excuses in 2010. The Eagles will have their sights fixed on getting off seven wins and getting past East Carolina in the division, but the defense has to be far, far better to get to the Conference USA title game.

82. UCF
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 53
Is UCF capable of ditching the even-year jinx? A lot will depend on the development of QB Rob Calabrese, who took a backseat to Brett Hodges in his second year. The defense will have to overcome some heavy losses along the front seven, putting even more weight on DE Bruce Miller and LB Lawrence Young. Harvey will once again spearhead an offense that will spend the offseason making sure the sophomore gets enough help from the passing game.

89. SMU
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 61
With June Jones at the controls, SMU appears to be on the tarmac and preparing for lift-off. Now that two recruiting classes are in Dallas and a talented gunslinger is at quarterback, Kyle Padron, the coach has the parts he needs to take the next step and win a Conference USA title. If coordinator Tom Mason can keep the defense from being a liability, there’s no reason the Mustangs can’t make postseason games an annual ritual.

95. UAB
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 80
With QB Joe Webb, UAB was a competitive team that could hang with just about anyone in Conference USA. Now the Blazers must prove they can maintain that level of play without him. It won’t be easy. His successor figures to be redshirt freshman David Isabelle, who soaked up as much knowledge as possible in his final year as an apprentice. Like Webb at the same stage, he’s a gifted athlete, who needs to refine his passing skills before becoming a complete quarterback.

105. UTEP
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 103
Is this going to be the year that UTEP finds its footing, catches a break or two, and returns to the postseason? If so, it’ll need QB Trevor Vittatoe to recapture his sophomore form, RB Donald Buckram to repeat his tremendous 2009 performance, and the defense to make a stop from time to time. Mike Price desperately needs a turnaround to stem the tide of the last four years and get the locals excited again about Miner football.

109. Memphis
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 108
There are some in the administration who believe the football program can someday be where the basketball team currently resides. The man in charge of navigating those waters is Larry Porter, who brings a new energy to his alma mater. The 37-year old former LSU assistant is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier recruiters, which Memphis needs to achieve its long-term goals. He inherits a team that’ll have a dearth of proven talent on offense and those nagging issues on defense.

110. Tulane
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 111
Even if you squint real hard, it’s difficult to find the silver lining in the Tulane program going forward. The defense can’t cut it, the offense loses its two best playmakers, RB Andre Anderson and WR Jeremy Williams, and the staff has shown no signs of being able to turn things around. A lot of pressure will be on Ryan Griffin, who laid the groundwork for his future by throwing eight touchdown passes over the final four games.

115. Rice
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 118
After using a gaggle of unproven players in 2009, Rice ought to start reaping some of the benefits next fall. Both lines return intact and QB Nick Fanuzzi flashed upside once he got healthy and was able to develop a rhythm playing in consecutive games. Although this program is clearly built on the offense, head coach David Bailiff needs to find some answers on defense, or else the Owls will be forever trying to survive in shootouts.

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