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2007 Preseason Rankings - No. 80 to 89

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

    Admittedly Underrated - No. 80 to No. 89

    No argument here if you think some of these teams should be higher

    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 119. The predicted finishes don't take into account possible bowl games or conference championships.

    80. San Jose State
    - San Jose State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... Adam Tafralis went from being in a quarterback battle to start last season to becoming the steady leader of a strong team. There's explosion in the backfield with Yonus Davis leading a quick, experienced group of running backs. Defensively, head coach Dick Tomey has most of his guys in place to build on a shocking season. LB Matt Castelo and corners Dwight Lowery and Christopher Owens should be All-WAC stars.
    The ranking is too high because ... the receiving corps has to undergo a total overhaul. Was Tafralis really that efficient, or was it his receiving corps that made him look so good? The defensive front has to do a better job in all areas, while the offensive line has to replace three starters and still find a way to improve the pass protection.
    Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Special Teams
    Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line

    81. Houston
    - Houston Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... the defending Conference USA champions get a world of experience back, and even some of the main replacements, like QB Blake Joseph in for Kevin Kolb, has experience. The receiving corps is explosive, Anthony Alridge is one of the nation's best home run hitting backs, and the linebacking corps will be among the best in the league.
    The ranking is too high because ... Joseph isn't Kolb. Kolb was a special player who put together a brilliant four-year career as the leader and face of the program. You don't just replace a player like him. The secondary will be a question mark early on, and the special teams will likely be mediocre enough to cost the Cougars a shot at repeating.
    Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Linebacker
    Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Secondary

    82. Tulsa
    - Tulsa Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... if Todd Graham could make Rice look like a real, live Conference USA player, then he should be able to work wonders with a Tulsa team good enough to challenge for the title. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who wasn't allowed to run his offense at Arkansas last year, should be great with QB Paul Smith in place to run his hurry-up, no-huddle, up-tempo attack. Defensively, Graham is the school's former defensive coordinator and is familiar with many of the players he helped bring to the school. Now that he's back, expect more turnovers.
    The ranking is too high because ... there are big holes to fill. The receiving corps and offensive line are average at best, the defensive line isn't anything special, and the cornerbacks have to prove they can be left on an island with the front six being so aggressive. The real key to the season is the offensive line that will undergo some major personnel changes.
    Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
    Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Offensive Line

    83. SMU
    - SMU Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... of Justin Willis. The sophomore quarterback is one of Conference USA's more accurate passers with all the skill and talent to be the franchise player to carry the program to a big season. Helping out is a good, experienced offensive line that should pave the way to a nice season for the running game. The defense has a nice group of linebackers led by All-America candidate Reggie Carrington, and the special teams should be among the league's best.
    The ranking is too high because ... the defensive line could be a problem early on after losing two stars in Justin Rogers and Adrian Haywood, and there won't be nearly enough of a pass rush early on. The secondary is just average enough to get picked apart by the better quarterbacks when they get a little time to work. Offensively, Willis will have to make his receivers look far better than they are.
    Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
    Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line

    84. New Mexico State
    - New Mexico State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
    The ranking is too low because ... the offense will be among the most productive in the nation. Last year, it was third in the country averaging 475 yards per game and 15th in scoring averaging 31 points per game. Now, all the key parts are back with nine returning starters including QB Chase Holbrook, WR Chris Williams, and four offensive linemen. This group will win games simply by outbombing most average teams.
    The ranking is too high because ... the defense still won't be up to snuff. Eight starters might return, and there might be a move to being more aggressive and creating more turnovers, but there's no proven pass rush to rely on and there isn't a whole bunch of talent in the secondary. The offense might be tremendous, but there won't be any semblance of a running game to rely on. While that's sort of by design, if Chase Holbrook isn't on, of if he gets hurt, the machine will break down.
    Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
    Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Defensive Front Seven


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