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The other side of mediocre Another divsion 1 college sports article

Another article for division 1 college sports schedule and roster strength and overall potential.

 
PRLog - Aug. 30, 2012 - EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- #85-88:
The other side of mediocre
#88: Western Michigan
Schedule strength: 79
Roster strength: 107
Overall potential: 62

The short on the Broncos:
Western Michigan can score, but still has a long way to go on defense. Senior quarterback Alex Carder is a very good offensive leader, and has come a long way in cutting down on mental mistakes. His go-to players will likely be running backs Tevin Drake and Brian Fields, and receiver Darrin Duncan and Justin Collins. And there are several freshmen receivers that may see time as well. The big question on how far the Broncos go this season is how well the defense responds. One of the worst last year, new defensive coordinator Rich Nagy has a lot of holes to fill.
#87: Hawaii
Schedule strength: 73
Roster strength: 85
Overall potential: 90

The short on the Warriors:
Norm Chow will once again go with the pro-style offense even though there isn't a quarterback set in stone. Receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann is the one bright spot on offense. A lot of unproven talent makes up the rest of the offense. Over on defense, a few holes need to be addressed, but several returners on defense are back and the overall strength is adequate at best. The Warriors will struggle unless the team melds fast.
#86: Minnesota
Schedule strength: 90
Roster strength: 72
Overall potential: 84

The short on the Gophers:
Big Ten play is what hurts the Gophers every year. A lot of elite teams at the top kills Minnesota year in and year out. And that won't be any different this year. Inconsistent play by the defense last season must improve this season, and a non-existant running game on offense and no star power players leave too many questions to answer.
#85: Louisiana-Lafayette
Schedule strength: 85
Roster strength: 95
Overall potential: 63

The short on the Rajun Cajuns:
A brutal schedule and a young roster spell the potential for a long season. But on the bright side, second year head coach Mark Hudspeth took the team to a bowl in his first season. So the Cajuns have the inspiration and pieces in place on offense. The lone weak link on offense is tight end. The bad: The defense is very green and is why Louisiana-Lafayette will fall backwards this campaign.
#81-84:
From good to bad
#84: Marshall
Schedule strength: 78
Roster strength: 67
Overall potential: 97

The short on the Herd:
Marshall has a suspect offense and defense that will doom the Herd if the holes aren't plugged. The good news is that the quarterback, running backs, and receivers are all back. The bad news is everyone else is green or has had limited playing time. The offensive line must get stronger to allow the plays to develop. And the same can be said about the defense. Marshall allowed opposing offenses to score at will and had to play catchup last season. There needs to be more aggressive play on both sides of the ball if Marshall is to sneak into a bowl this year.
#83: San Diego State
Schedule strength: 65
Roster strength: 97
Overall potential: 74

The short on the Aztecs:
Second year head coach Rocky Long caught everyone by surprise last season with an 8-5 record. But there is trouble brewing this season. Graduation cost the Aztecs their best quarterback ever, Ryan Lindley, and the two QBs on the roster have had little play time. There are a couple big names on offense: tight end Gavin Escobar and receiver Osmond Nicholas. Graduation also decimated the defensive front line with only one returning starter. The Aztecs will need to come out of the gate ready to play if San Diego State wants a return trip to a bowl this season.
#82: Iowa State
Schedule strength: 67
Roster strength: 87
Overall potential: 81

The short on the Cyclones:
A weak roster and a questionable defense, especially against the elite schools of the Big Twelve, remain two sticking points for Iowa State. It will be another subpar season for the Cyclones.
#81: Boston College
Schedule strength: 70
Roster strength: 63
Overall potential: 101

The short on the Eagles:
Boston College has been on the slide the past few years and repeated bad calls and misuse of talent by the coaching staff leads one to wonder if this years squad really stands a chance. BC brought in another new offensive coordinator, Kevin Rogers, the 4th in two years, to fix matters. The Eagles will have three wide receivers, Colin Larmond, Bobby Swigert, and Alex Amidon, as the main targets on offense this year. But a weak front line and a defense that couldn't stop anything last season will spell trouble this year.
#77-80:
Still some questions
#80: Kentucky
Schedule strength: 75
Roster strength: 62
Overall potential: 96

The short on the Wildcats:
Kentucky took a step backwards last season under Joker Phillips and without a proven quarterback this season the Wildcats will be taking another step backwards. Play in the strongest conference will not be in Kentucky's favor either. Holes on defense will prove costly as the Wildcats will struggle this year.
#79: Syracuse
Schedule strength: 82
Roster strength: 65
Overall potential: 83

The short on the Orange:
Syracuse went from a contender to a pretender as last season unfolded. And the outlook this year is bleak. Holes that sprung up on both the offensive and defensive lines last year have not been addressed. There are several quality players on the roster that could shine, if given the opportunity. But who will be the starting quarterback? Syracuse will struggle in their final year in the Big East.
#78: Temple
Schedule strength: 54
Roster strength: 76
Overall potential: 94

The short on the Owls:
A couple new faces on the offensive coaching staff leave a question mark on team preparedness. The go to players will be running back Matt Brown, tight ends Cody Booth and Wyatt Benson, as well as wide receiver Deon Miller. The defense doesn't have any star power, and had to be rebuilt due to graduations costing the d-line 6 starters from a year ago. How the Owls come together remains to be seen.
#77: Wake Forest
Schedule strength: 77
Roster strength: 69
Overall potential: 78

The short on the Deacons:
Somehow Wake Forest has found ways to salvage a season and make it to a bowl the past few years. Slow starts to a season and playing catchup to end the season seems to be the trend with the Deacons. Quarterback Tanner Price came on strong last season to send the Deacons to a bowl last year. He is back as is wide receiver Chris Givens, who will once again be Price's main target. Expect another so-so year.
#73-76:
No team chemistry
#76: Washington State
Schedule strength: 99
Roster strength: 55
Overall potential: 68

The short on the Cougars:
The good. Washington State has a good, but not great, overall roster. The bad. Playing in what may be a tough Pac 12 this season. The Cougars also need to come ready to play. In too many games last season, they either collapsed or never showed up at all. Who will be the team leader? Three quarterbacks are on the roster and not one has shown it wants the leader role.
#75: East Carolina
Schedule strength: 74
Roster strength: 73
Overall potential: 75

The short on the Pirates:
Winning the big games remains a number one priority for East Carolina. The Pirates have beaten the schools they were expected to win against, but East Carolina is still not ready for prime time against the big boys. Another issue is who will lead their offense. A new and unproven quarterback is one huge sticking point.
#74: Mississippi
Schedule strength: 87
Roster strength: 40
Overall potential: 93

The short on the Rebels:
Can we say "ditto"? A good but not great roster, mixed in with a brutal conference schedule, this time the SEC. Enter new head coach Hugh Freeze, brought in to help get the Rebels out of a long conference winless slump. But without the explosiveness that define most other SEC schools on offense, plus having no star power. #73: Colorado
Schedule strength: 91
Roster strength: 36
Overall potential: 89

--- End ---

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