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2010 Preseason Rankings - No. 101 to 110
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 9, 2010


Preview 2010 CFN Preseason Rankings No. 101 to 110. ... Near the Bottom


Preview 2010 - Preseason Rankings

Near The Bottom - No. 101 to 110


2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 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
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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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

101. Colorado State
- 2010 Colorado State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 4-8
Key to the Season:: Third down stops. Only three teams in college football allowed offenses to convert more than half of the time: Western Kentucky, Idaho, and Colorado State, who finished dead last in the nation by a big margin allowing teams to convert 54.65% of their chances. Through the air, on the ground, it didn’t matter; anyone who wanted to move the chains, did.
Relative Strength: Linebacker, Running Back
Relative Weakness: Secondary, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. T.J. Borcky was the safest option going into the offseason, but he might end up moving to wide receiver. Jon Eastman was the starter at the end of last year, but no one is doing cartwheels over the idea of him as the full-time man. Freshman Pete Thomas is the most talented option of the lot, and the coaching staff might sink or swim with him. Overall, the interceptions have to come down and the efficiency has to improve.
What to watch for on defense: The return of Ricky Brewer. The team’s most productive linebacker two years ago, Brewer was booted off the team last year for a violation of team rules. A model citizen and teammate since then, he was able to get back in everyone’s good graces and into the starting lineup on the strongside. Combining with Mychal Sisson on the other side, the Rams now might have the Mountain West’s best outside linebacking tandem, and with veteran Alex Williams back in the middle, the corps should be a rock.
Fun Stat: Fumbles: Opponents 19 (lost 8) – Colorado State 12 (lost 3)

102. North Texas
- 2010 North Texas Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 3-9
Key to the Season:: Big play from the big defensive line. Beef doesn’t necessarily equate to production against the run, but with three tackles (Shavod Atkinson, Kelvin Jackson, and Kyle White) checking in at close to 310 pounds, and a solid 288-pounder in John Weber to be part of the rotation, size isn’t an issue on the defensive interior. Now there has to be some production after getting pounded for close to 200 yards per game. Considering the pass rush was among the worst in America, the line has to do something right.
Relative Strength: Running Back, Offensive Line
Relative Weakness: Defensive Line, Secondary
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. Riley Dodge was a big-time recruit for the program and was considered to be the top quarterback prospect ever to play for the Mean Green, by far. But injuries and interceptions forced him to move over to wide receiver; he couldn’t stay in one piece and his arm didn’t have any pop. Nathan Tune and Derek Thompson are big, mobile passers who have just enough talent and just enough of a supporting cast to potentially make the offense shine. They have Lance Dunbar to hand off to and an offensive line to work behind that doesn’t allow sacks. As long as they keep the interceptions to a minimum, the offense should be among the Sun Belt’s best.
What to watch for on defense: Cornerback. The Mean Green has a great pass rusher in Brandon Akpunku, but the team hasn’t gotten to the quarterback nearly enough over the last few years; there’s no reason to think the music will start now. The safeties are fine and the linebackers are experienced, but the back seven will get lit up without a few miracles at corner. D’Leon McCord is a JUCO transfer with decent upside, Chris Neal is a career backup who hasn’t done much, and sophomores Hilbert Jackson and Desmond Brigham need seasoning and time. It could be ugly early.
Fun Stat: Total yards: Opponents 4,948 – North Texas 4,904

103. Ball State
- 2010 Ball State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 4-8
Key to the Season:: Third down play. Ball State only converted 33.9% of third down chances (102nd in the nation) with just 75 of the first downs overall coming through the air. The defense isn’t good enough to be on the field as much as it was last season, and the more long drives, the better.
Relative Strength: Running Back, Receiver
Relative Weakness: Quarterback, Defensive Line
What to watch for on offense: A far more efficient passing game. QB Kelly Page was just starting to come into his own when he broke his thumb and was knocked out for the year. The passing attack went into the tank when Tanner Justice took over, but now he’s gone and Page will battle with hotshot redshirt freshman, Aaron Mershman, for the job. All the top receivers are back and the O line returns all five starters, so there’s no reason for Ball State to be 117th in the nation and last in the MAC in pass efficiency.
What to watch for on defense: A better pass rush. It was inexcusable that a team with Brandon Crawford and Robert Eddins on the ends could finish 106th in the nation in sacks. Crawford is gone, but Eddins is one of the best in the MAC and should set the tone for an athletic, experienced front seven that will turn it loose and do more to get to the quarterback.
Fun Stat: Second quarter scoring: Opponents 122 – Ball State 43

104. ULM
- 2010 ULM Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 2-10
Key to the Season:: Better special teams. ULM has to do everything right to have a shot at a winning record, and being better on special teams will be a big part of that. The Warhawks were miserable on returns, finishing 112th in the nation in punt returns and 100th in kickoff returns, and the punting game wasn’t anything to get excited about. Throw in the poor coverage teams that allowed 21.9 yards per kickoff with two touchdowns and a 10.7 yards per try with a touchdown on punt returns, and the special teams were a major problem.
Relative Strength: Running Back, Offensive Line
Relative Weakness: Secondary, Receiver
What to watch for on offense: More of a spread attack. Berry ran the spread when he was at ULM with decent success, but as the offensive coordinator at UNLV his offense was relatively conservative and lacked much pop or production. He has the speed in the backfield to hope for several big runs, but the quarterbacks will have to do more than just keep the chains moving like they did at UNLV.
What to watch for on defense: More of the 3-3-5. The system was great last year, so why change? Defensive coordinator Troy Reffett has some decent pieces to work with in the front six, and while there were some major personnel losses that almost guarantees a bit of a down year compared to a great 2009, there shouldn’t be that much of a drop off. With plenty of speed and quickness, this will be an aggressive group that should do even more to get into the backfield.
Fun Stat: Red Zone Touchdowns: Opponents 29-of-40 (73%) – ULM 29-of-53 (55%)

105. San Jose State
- 2010 San Jose State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 4-8
Key to the Season:: Better offensive line play. The Spartan front five gave up 34 sacks and paved the way for the nation’s 117th ranked rushing attack. It’s a big line returning with three decent starters, and it should be far better if everyone can stay healthy. Considering the receiving corps is fast and the quarterback aren’t that mobile, better pass protection is a must and more physical play for the ground game is needed, too.
Relative Strength: Receiver, Secondary
Relative Weakness: Offensive Line, Linebacker
What to watch for on offense: The end of the spread. Maybe the spread won’t go away entirely, but the offense will go to more of a one-back, conventional attack that’ll work more with the power running game, throw more to the tight end, and will work the ball deep in the passing attack. Anything will be an improvement over last year’s nightmare, and if the line can provide the time, the skill players are just good enough to produce.
What to watch for on defense: The depth on the defensive line. The pass defense, statistically, was among the best in the country last season, and with all four starters returning to the secondary there’s hope for an even bigger year. However, there’s a reason the stats were so great; everyone was tired from running the ball down the Spartans’ throats. The line was hit by a slew of injuries, most notably a shoulder problem suffered early on by end Mohamed Marah, and it got shoved all over the place. With a few good-looking JUCO transfers coming in, plenty of size, and a healthy Marah, the line should be tougher and far better. At least that’s the hope.
Fun Stat: Rushing offense: Opponents 259.2 yards per game – San Jose State 76.7 yards per game

106. Miami University
- 2010 Miami Univ. Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 1-11
Key to the Season:: Turnovers. Miami simply isn’t good enough to lose the turnover battle. Tulane was second-to-last in the nation in turnover margin down an average of 1.33. Only six teams were above one and only one was above two: MU. The RedHawks gave the ball away a whopping 36 times and only took it away 12. Flipping that around a bit and being on the plus side would do wonders. In the lone win last year, Toledo, MU was +1.
Relative Strength: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Weakness: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
What to watch for on offense: More from the running game. It’s been years since Miami ran the ball effectively, and it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about last year finishing second-to-last in the nation averaging 70 yards per game (only Duke was worse). Haywood is a running backs coach by trade and wants to get the ground attack rolling led by a more physical line. Thomas Merriweather and Danny Green has fast, talented backs who’ll get their chances, while QB Zac Dysert is one of the league’s more dangerous rushing options when he gets outside of the pocket.
What to watch for on defense: The freshmen defensive backs. Haywood hardly was shy about stating that his team needed more speed and had to have an upgrade at corner. He got both as the coaching staff recruited a whale of a class of defensive backs led by Allen Veazie, Travis Williams, and possibly Orne Bey, a likely running back with the strength to be a whale of a defender. Throw in Dante Taylor, Demetrius Quarles, Tray Payne, and Dayonne Nunley, four more options who’ll get their chances right away.
Fun Stat: Sacks: Opponents 58 for 378 yards – Miami University 14 for 116 yards

107. Wyoming
- 2010 Wyoming Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 3-9
Key to the Season:: Defensive line health. Last year Wyoming was able to go back and forth from a 3-4 to a 4-3 because it had two tremendous defensive linemen in John Fletcher and Mitch Unrein. They’re gone and now there’s a mad scramble to find linemen who can play. Compounding the problem is the health of the two best tackles on the team, Mike Purcell and Alex Stover. They’re the only two tackles with any semblance of size, but Stover is coming off a groin injury and Purcell’s shoulder is a problem.
Relative Strength: Quarterback, Secondary
Relative Weakness: Defensive Line, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: The maturation of Austyn Carta-Samuels. He’s not the prettiest quarterback around and he’s not the most talented, but he’s a spunky firestarter who has a knack of making things happen. Thrown into the starting role as a true freshman, the coaching staff tried to make it as easy as possible for him. Now the playbook is opened up, he’ll be allowed to take more chances and more shots down the field, and he’ll be in charge of trying to keep the team in games when the defense isn’t a rock.
What to watch for on defense: A ton of movement on the defensive front seven depth chart. A TON. So depleted was the line this offseason that linebackers were moved up front, several untested players were tried out at linebacker, and everyone was crossing their fingers that no one got hurt and the banged up players would be ready to roll by the start of the season. The team is missing a couple of killer defensive linemen and would be far better if the linebacking corps could utilize all of the team’s true linebackers, but instead there will be a mish-mosh of players in different alignments to try to find the right fit.
Fun Stat: Wyoming’s seven wins were by a score of 208-161. The five losses were by a score of 194 to 30.

108. New Mexico
- 2010 New Mexico Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 4-8
Key to the Season:: Offensive line play. Cohesion wasn’t a problem last year with three starters playing the entire year and with the other two spots not having too many problems filling the spots, but the production was lousy and everything trickled down from there. The quarterbacks were under pressure and threw too many picks, the running game disappeared for long stretches, and the third down production wasn’t there with defenses teeing off into the backfield for 94 tackles for loss.
Relative Strength: Defensive Line, Running Back
Relative Weakness: Secondary, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. There are five options with only the projected starter, B.R. Holbrook, the only one with any appreciable experience. Brad Gruner has a knee problem, Tate Smith has a bum shoulder, and Darian “Stump” Godfrey and Tarean Austin are true freshmen who have talent, but are true freshmen. All five prospects need time to grow and they need time to work behind a line that offered an open invite to defensive lines to walk into the backfield. Keeping the turnovers to a minimum is a key, and that will only happen if the quarterbacks don’t have to press.
What to watch for on defense: The potential emergence of a dominant defensive front. The line wasn’t miserable last year helping the Lobos finish second in the Mountain West in tackles for loss and fourth in sacks, but there were problems against the run and there weren’t enough key stops. This year, Johnathan Rainey and Jaymar Latchison should be a deadly defensive end pair that crunches quarterbacks throughout the season, while veteran tackle Peter Gardner should be a good one now that he knows what he’s doing.
Fun Stat: Rushing Touchdowns: Opponents 23 – New Mexico 8

109. Akron
- 2010 Akron Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 4-8
Key to the Season:: Keeping the chains moving. The Zips were miserable on third downs converting just 32% of their chances, and they were a disaster on fourth down converting just 3-of-14 tries. The defense isn’t good enough to carry the team, and it’ll be up to the still-emerging quarterbacks to come up with a play or three to keep drives alive. Time of possession might be an overrated stat, but it matters here; the Zips were 113th in the nation holding on to the ball just 27:13 per game.
Relative Strength: Linebacker, Receiver
Relative Weakness: Secondary, Offensive Line
What to watch for on offense: Pro style attack. Quarterback Patrick Nicely took his lumps as a true freshman, but he’s a nice talent who should be far better in the new attack with several good running backs to carry the offense from time to time. Throw in a good 1-2 receiving punch of Jeremy LaFrance and Jalil Carter, and the players are in place to quickly be better. After averaging a mere 301 yards and 19.25 points per game, there’s nowhere to go but up.
What to watch for on defense: The 4-3. The old 3-3-5 didn’t get to the quarterback as the Zips finished 118th in the nation in sacks, but they weren’t that bad at generating tackles for loss. Now, the front four should be stronger with star Almondo Sewell going from a 3-4 end to a more natural 4-3 tackle, while there are good options to form a good rotation across the front. The linebackers won’t be as taxed to make every play, and that’s a good thing with terrific playmakers in Brian Wagner and Mike Thomas able to work more in space. The shift should make the run defense better after finishing 91st in the nation.
Fun Stat: Fourth Quarter Scoring: Opponents 106 – Akron 45

110. FIU
- 2010 FIU Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Predicted Record:: 3-9
Key to the Season:: Better line play. The defensive line has to show it can stop someone from powering the ball once in a while, and the offensive line has to keep someone from destroying the backfield. The running backs are quick and talented, but they can’t show it off without having a little room to roam. The quarterbacks are mobile, but it would be nice if they could get a few seconds to throw. If the lines are appreciably better, the Golden Panthers will be in the Sun Belt title hunt.
Relative Strength: Receiver, Special Teams
Relative Weakness: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. Wayne Younger has had a rocky career including a 2007 that was a step back even in his first year. As a freshman, Younger completed 46% of his passes for 1,357 yards with nine touchdown passes and 17 interceptions, but he ran for 536 yards and two scores. He hasn’t gotten much better, completing 45% of his career passes for 1,863 yards with ten touchdowns and 21 interceptions, but he had a good offseason after looking sharper, more decisive, and with more power in his arm. It was assumed that former Mississippi State starting quarterback Wesley Carroll was going to take over the job when eligible, but Younger has made the quarterback derby a positive.
What to watch for on defense: The line. The linebacking corps has the potential to be phenomenal with two good options for each spot (and three prospects in the middle), and the secondary can’t help but be better with the return of Ashlyn Parker at safety to go along with some good returning starters. Now the line has to do something positive. FIU is great at getting into the backfield for tackles for loss, but the run defense was miserable last year and was powered over by everyone. The Golden Panther defense came up with 271 yards in tackles for loss and still finished 116th in the nation in run defense. It’s a young, young line led by several promising sophomores, and they have to grow up in a hurry.
Fun Stat: First Half Scoring: Opponents 241 – FIU 109

2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 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
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007