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2007 Preseason Rankings - No. 11 to 20

Discussion in 'All Other San Diego Sports' started by BoltsFanUK, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    2007 Preseason Rankings

    Possible Title Contenders - No. 11 to No. 20

    These teams are good enough to be in the national title hunt

    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.

    11. UCLA
    - UCLA Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... if everything comes together, this might be one of the five best teams in America. Ten starters are back on a defense that made USC look painfully bad, while 12 players with significant starting experience are back on offense. There are almost no real weaknesses considering the receiving corps isn't all that bad and the special teams will be more than fine. If QB Ben Olsen finally stays healthy and lives up to his hype, the Bruins will have their signature offensive star to make everyone else better.
    The ranking is too high because ... the program has to prove it can be consistent under Karl Dorrell. How can a team that played that well against USC be so awful against a mediocre Florida State team? While there's a ton of experience on both sides of the ball, there aren't that many all-stars, and where there's a glut of talent, the secondary, the jury is still out after an inconsistent year. This is the nation's toughest team to call. It's potentially good enough to be just on the outside of the national title hunt, but just average enough in several spots to lose to anyone in the Pac 10 on a given day. If this team doesn't find a special chemistry that clicks, it could find itself fifth in the league when all is said and done.
    Relative Strengths: Secondary, Defensive Line
    Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Special Teams

    12. Miami
    - Miami | Offense Preview | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... the defense will be a brick wall. Lost in the miserable 2006 debacle was a stellar year from a D that finished seventh in the nation, and now has a starting 11 that could be the best in America. It's not a stretch to call S Kenny Phillips and DE Calais Campbell the two best defensive players in the nation, and each could end up being top five draft picks. The offense can't help but be better, and it will be with running backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper each good enough to start at the next level very soon. The O line might not be the Miami O line of old, but it'll be better than it's been over the last few years.
    The ranking is too high because ... the quarterback derby might be the most boring big battle in recent college football history. There was a time when the Miami quarterback was the glamour position in all of college football, and maybe even all of sports. Now it's down to mega-flop Kyle Wright and the uninspiring Kirby Freeman. To be fair, Wright has almost gotten killed behind some lousy lines, and his receiving corps have hardly been up to Miami snuff. While the defense will be devastating at times, there will be big, big problems if injuries hit the line or secondary early on.
    Relative Strengths: Secondary, Running Back
    Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Offensive Line

    13. Florida
    - Florida Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... head coach Urban Meyer proved last year that he recruits ready-made players who can step off the bus and onto a national championship team. On paper, there are glaring holes to be filled on both sides of the ball, but there are so many good true freshmen and others waiting to get their chance to shine that the overall production might not fall off all that much. The offensive line will be a good foundation for all the lightning-fast skill players to work around.
    The ranking is too high because ... everyone seems to have forgotten just how close last year's supposed juggernaut of a national champion came to having just an above-average season. The Gators won five games by a touchdown or less, and while that goes to show how good they were when things got tight, teams full of true freshmen starters and new faces in key spots tend to get tagged in the SEC. On sheer talent and athleticism, Florida is still the class of the league, or at least the East, but QB Tim Tebow has to prove he can be a steady producer like Chris Leak, and the D line and secondary have to quickly come together with a nasty start to the SEC coming up quickly.
    Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
    Relative Weaknesses: Special Teams, Secondary

    14. Oregon State
    - Oregon State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... the team that beat USC last year is loaded and ready to become the sleeper team in the Pac 10 race and a breakout team on a national scale. Yvenson Bernard might be the best back you haven't seen, and Sammie Stroughter is the among the nation's most dangerous weapons as both a receiver and a returner. The line isn't full of all-stars, but four starters return to a group that doesn't make many mistakes. The defense that led the Pac 10 in takeaways and sacks gets most of the key players back, and has superstar potential in the linebacking corps. PK Alexis Serna leads one of the nation's best special teams units.
    The ranking is too high because ... QB Matt Moore will be missed. Much-maligned early in his career, he came up with a great senior season, and now it's likely up to Sean Canfield to show he has more than just a howitzer of a left arm. The defensive front seven might be special, but the secondary could be a liability at times if there isn't a consistent pass rush. While the Beavers are ranked high to start the season, a nasty schedule with a slew of losable road games could make this a disappointing year.
    Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker
    Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Quarterback


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