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2010 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, Spec. Teams
UCLA PK Kai Forbath
UCLA PK Kai Forbath
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2010


CFN 2010 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Special Teams


Preview 2010 - Unit Rankings

Defensive Backs


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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CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. Miami
Thanks in large part to the right leg of Matt Bosher and the potential of the return game, the ‘Canes will once again vie for the ACC’s best all-around special teams unit. If Travis Benjamin can push Thearon Collier and start realizing all of his own potential, Miami will have a hidden edge in the return game.

2. UCLA
For a team looking to rebuild in so many phases, PK Kai Forbath and P Jeff Locke are undisputed luxuries. Forbath is, well, practically a lock whenever he lines for a field goal attempt, and Locke is just getting started as the next big thing in a Bruin punter. If returner Josh Smith can pick up where he left off in Boulder, this could be America’s best all-around special teams units.

3. Georgia
The return game should be explosive and the coaching staff is making a concerted effort to improve the coverage teams. The kicking game is peerless and should win the Dawgs at least two games with a huge advantage in punter Drew Butler and placekicker Blair Walsh. The kicking game is the best in America with Butler the nation’s top punter last year by far, averaging close to three yards per kick more than the No. 2 punter, and Walsh in the mix for this year’s Lou Groza.

4. TCU
TCU might have the best special teams in America. Yeah, it would be nice if PK Ross Evans had a deeper leg, and yeah, it might be nice if the punting game netted more than 35 yards per try, but that’s nitpicking. Jeremy Kerley and the kickers are fantastic. TCU led the nation in kickoff returns and were 12th in punt returns.

5. Nebraska
Special teams were a point of emphasis last offseason, and the work paid off. The coverage teams could stand to be a bit tighter, but that’s nitpicking. PK Alex Henery and returners Niles Paul and Tim Marlowe are terrific and should once again give the Huskers a major advantage in most games.

6. Stanford
New coordinator Brian Polian has to be pinching himself after inheriting such a complete special teams unit. Showing no glaring holes, the Cardinal has a veteran punter and kicker, covers kicks like a blanket, and features one of the most dangerous collections of return men in America. In Chris Owusu, Richard Sherman, and even junior Delano Howell , the Cardinal has athletes for the return game, who will force the other team to kick the ball away from them. As if the offense needs more help, these returners are going to be a boon to field position.

7. Boise State
The special teams were among the best in America and they will be once again as long as the punt return game is solid. The coverage teams are fantastic allowing just 19.1 yards per kickoff return and 6.9 yards per punt return, and kickoff returners are tremendous. Kyle Brotzman could be a bit stronger inside the 40, but overall, this will be a strength and a big advantage in every game.

8. Arizona State
With Thomas Weber and Trevor Hankins as the foundation, Arizona State has the starting points of one of the Pac-10’s premier special teams units. Just how effective it winds up being will depend on the play of the coverage units and the development of Miles as the primary return specialist.

9. Iowa
The Hawkeye special teams are going to be fantastic as long as the kicking situation is settled (and it’s not like it was that bad). Punter Ryan Donohue is fantastic, the return game is great, and the coverage teams are outstanding allowing just 18.4 yards per kickoff return and 5.7 yards per punt return.

10. Florida State
Few holes and loads of potential characterize this year’s special teams unit. PK Dustin Hopkins and PR Greg Reid are emerging stars in just their second seasons on campus, and Shawn Powell is an asset of a punter. If the cover teams can plug a few holes, Florida State can vie for the ACC’s premier group, giving a major boost to the offense and defense.

COULD EASILY BE IN TOP TEN

Arizona Pac 10
Georgia Tech ACC
LSU SEC
Oregon State Pac 10
Tulsa C-USAW
Utah   M-West

SOLID, WILL BE A POSITIVE

Air Force M-West
Auburn SEC
Ball State MAC
Baylor Big 12
Boston College ACC
BYU M-West
California Pac 10
Cincinnati Big East
Clemson ACC
FIU Sun Belt
Florida SEC
Fresno State WAC
Hawaii WAC
Houston C-USAW
Iowa State Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Kent State MAC
Kentucky SEC
Louisiana Tech WAC
Maryland  ACC
Michigan State Big Ten
Minnesota Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Missouri Big 12
Navy Ind
NC State ACC
North Carolina ACC
Notre Dame Ind
Ohio   MAC
Ohio State Big Ten
Oklahoma Big 12
Oklahoma State Big 12
Oregon Pac 10
Pitt Big East
Rutgers  Big East
South Carolina SEC
Syracuse Big East
Temple MAC
Texas Big 12
Texas Tech Big 12
UCF C-USAE
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
USC Pac 10
Utah State WAC
Virginia Tech ACC
Wake Forest ACC
West Virginia Big East
Wisconsin Big Ten
Wyoming M-West
 
AVERAGE

Alabama SEC
Army Ind
Central Michigan MAC
Connecticut Big East
East Carolina C-USAE
Idaho WAC
Indiana  Big Ten
Kansas Big 12
Michigan Big Ten
New Mexico State WAC
Northern Illinois MAC
Ole Miss SEC
Purdue Big Ten
SMU C-USAW
South Florida Big East
Southern Miss C-USAE
Tennessee SEC
Toledo MAC
Troy Sun Belt
Vanderbilt SEC
Virginia   ACC
Washington   Pac 10
Western Michigan MAC

NEEDS WORK

Arkansas SEC
Buffalo MAC
Colorado State M-West
Illinois Big Ten
Louisville  Big East
Nevada WAC
New Mexico   M-West
Northwestern Big Ten
Penn State Big Ten
Rice C-USAW
Texas A&M Big 12
UNLV M-West
Western Kentucky Sun Belt

A PROBLEM

Arkansas State Sun Belt
Colorado   Big 12
Duke ACC
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
UL Monroe Sun Belt
Akron MAC
Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
Marshall C-USAE
North Texas Sun Belt

THE BOTTOM TEN

Bowling Green MAC
Eastern Michigan MAC
Memphis C-USAE
Miami Univ. MAC
San Diego State M-West
San Jose State WAC
Tulane C-USAW
UAB C-USAE
UTEP C-USAW
Washington State Pac 10

CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

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